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The Florida Statutes

The 2014 Florida Statutes

Title XLVIII
K-20 EDUCATION CODE
Chapter 1012
PERSONNEL
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CHAPTER 1012
CHAPTER 1012
PERSONNEL
PART I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
(s. 1012.01)
PART II
K-20 PERSONNEL ISSUES
(ss. 1012.05-1012.07)
PART III
PUBLIC SCHOOLS; PERSONNEL
(ss. 1012.21-1012.799)
PART IV
PUBLIC POSTSECONDARY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS; PERSONNEL
(ss. 1012.80-1012.976)
PART V
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
(ss. 1012.98-1012.986)
PART VI
INTERSTATE COMPACT ON QUALIFICATIONS OF EDUCATIONAL PERSONNEL
(ss. 1012.99-1012.992)
PART I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
1012.01 Definitions.
1012.01 Definitions.As used in this chapter, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) SCHOOL OFFICERS.The officers of the state system of public K-12 and Florida College System institution education shall be the Commissioner of Education and the members of the State Board of Education; for each district school system, the officers shall be the district school superintendent and members of the district school board; and for each Florida College System institution, the officers shall be the Florida College System institution president and members of the Florida College System institution board of trustees.
(2) INSTRUCTIONAL PERSONNEL.“Instructional personnel” means any K-12 staff member whose function includes the provision of direct instructional services to students. Instructional personnel also includes K-12 personnel whose functions provide direct support in the learning process of students. Included in the classification of instructional personnel are the following K-12 personnel:
(a) Classroom teachers.Classroom teachers are staff members assigned the professional activity of instructing students in courses in classroom situations, including basic instruction, exceptional student education, career education, and adult education, including substitute teachers.
(b) Student personnel services.Student personnel services include staff members responsible for: advising students with regard to their abilities and aptitudes, educational and occupational opportunities, and personal and social adjustments; providing placement services; performing educational evaluations; and similar functions. Included in this classification are certified school counselors, social workers, career specialists, and school psychologists.
(c) Librarians/media specialists.Librarians/media specialists are staff members responsible for providing school library media services. These employees are responsible for evaluating, selecting, organizing, and managing media and technology resources, equipment, and related systems; facilitating access to information resources beyond the school; working with teachers to make resources available in the instructional programs; assisting teachers and students in media productions; and instructing students in the location and use of information resources.
(d) Other instructional staff.Other instructional staff are staff members who are part of the instructional staff but are not classified in one of the categories specified in paragraphs (a)-(c). Included in this classification are primary specialists, learning resource specialists, instructional trainers, adjunct educators certified pursuant to s. 1012.57, and similar positions.
(e) Education paraprofessionals.Education paraprofessionals are individuals who are under the direct supervision of an instructional staff member, aiding the instructional process. Included in this classification are classroom paraprofessionals in regular instruction, exceptional education paraprofessionals, career education paraprofessionals, adult education paraprofessionals, library paraprofessionals, physical education and playground paraprofessionals, and other school-level paraprofessionals.
(3) ADMINISTRATIVE PERSONNEL.“Administrative personnel” includes K-12 personnel who perform management activities such as developing broad policies for the school district and executing those policies through the direction of personnel at all levels within the district. Administrative personnel are generally high-level, responsible personnel who have been assigned the responsibilities of systemwide or schoolwide functions, such as district school superintendents, assistant superintendents, deputy superintendents, school principals, assistant principals, career center directors, and others who perform management activities. Broad classifications of K-12 administrative personnel are as follows:
(a) District-based instructional administrators.Included in this classification are persons with district-level administrative or policymaking duties who have broad authority for management policies and general school district operations related to the instructional program. Such personnel often report directly to the district school superintendent and supervise other administrative employees. This classification includes assistant, associate, or deputy superintendents and directors of major instructional areas, such as curriculum, federal programs such as Title I, specialized instructional program areas such as exceptional student education, career education, and similar areas.
(b) District-based noninstructional administrators.Included in this classification are persons with district-level administrative or policymaking duties who have broad authority for management policies and general school district operations related to the noninstructional program. Such personnel often report directly to the district school superintendent and supervise other administrative employees. This classification includes assistant, associate, or deputy superintendents and directors of major noninstructional areas, such as personnel, construction, facilities, transportation, data processing, and finance.
(c) School administrators.Included in this classification are:
1. School principals or school directors who are staff members performing the assigned activities as the administrative head of a school and to whom have been delegated responsibility for the coordination and administrative direction of the instructional and noninstructional activities of the school. This classification also includes career center directors.
2. Assistant principals who are staff members assisting the administrative head of the school. This classification also includes assistant principals for curriculum and administration.
(4) YEAR OF SERVICE.The minimum time which may be recognized in administering K-12 education, not including retirement, as a year of service by a school employee shall be full-time actual service; and, beginning July 1963, such service shall also include sick leave and holidays for which compensation was received but shall exclude all other types of leave and holidays for a total of more than one-half of the number of days required for the normal contractual period of service for the position held, which shall be 196 days or longer, or the minimum required for the district to participate in the Florida Education Finance Program in the year service was rendered, or the equivalent for service performed on a daily or hourly basis; provided, further, that absence from duty after the date of beginning service shall be covered by leave duly authorized and granted; further, the school board shall have authority to establish a different minimum for local district school purposes.
(5) SCHOOL VOLUNTEER.A K-12 school volunteer is any nonpaid person who may be appointed by a district school board or its designee. School volunteers may include, but may not be limited to, parents, senior citizens, students, and others who assist the teacher or other members of the school staff.
(6) EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT EMPLOYEES.“Educational support employees” means K-12 employees whose job functions are neither administrative nor instructional, yet whose work supports the educational process.
(a) Other professional staff or nonadministrative/noninstructional employees are staff members who perform professional job functions which are nonadministrative/noninstructional in nature and who are not otherwise classified in this section. Included in this classification are employees such as doctors, nurses, attorneys, certified public accountants, and others appropriate to the classification.
(b) Technicians are individuals whose occupations require a combination of knowledge and manual skill which can be obtained through about 2 years of post-high school education, such as is offered in many career centers and Florida College System institutions, or through equivalent on-the-job training.
(c) Clerical/secretarial workers are individuals whose job requires skills and training in clerical-type work, including activities such as preparing, transcribing, systematizing, or preserving written communications and reports or operating equipment performing those functions. Included in this classification are secretaries, bookkeepers, messengers, and office machine operators.
(d) Skilled crafts workers are individuals who perform jobs which require special manual skill and a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of the processes involved in the work which is acquired through on-the-job training and experience or through apprenticeship or other formal training programs. Lead workers for the various skilled crafts areas shall be included in this classification.
(e) Service workers are staff members performing a service for which there are no formal qualifications, including those responsible for: cleaning the buildings, school plants, or supporting facilities; maintenance and operation of such equipment as heating and ventilation systems; preserving the security of school property; and keeping the school plant safe for occupancy and use. Lead workers in the various service areas shall be included in this broad classification.
(7) MANAGERS.“Managers” includes those K-12 staff members who perform managerial and supervisory functions while usually also performing general operations functions. Managers may be either instructional or noninstructional in their responsibility. They may direct employees’ work, plan the work schedule, control the flow and distribution of work or materials, train employees, handle complaints, authorize payments, and appraise productivity and efficiency of employees. This classification includes coordinators and supervisors working under the general direction of those staff identified as district-based instructional or noninstructional administrators.
History.s. 689, ch. 2002-387; s. 6, ch. 2004-295; ss. 6, 131, ch. 2004-357; s. 161, ch. 2007-217; s. 182, ch. 2011-5; s. 12, ch. 2013-89.
PART II
K-20 PERSONNEL ISSUES
1012.05 Teacher recruitment and retention.
1012.06 Temporary assignment of professional staff among K-20 system.
1012.07 Identification of critical teacher shortage areas.
1012.05 Teacher recruitment and retention.
(1) The Department of Education, in cooperation with teacher organizations, district personnel offices, and schools, colleges, and departments of all public and nonpublic postsecondary educational institutions, shall concentrate on the recruitment and retention of qualified teachers.
(2) The Department of Education shall:
(a) Develop and implement a system for posting teaching vacancies and establish a database of teacher applicants that is accessible within and outside the state.
(b) Advertise in major newspapers, national professional publications, and other professional publications and in public and nonpublic postsecondary educational institutions, if needed.
(c) Utilize state and nationwide toll-free numbers.
(d) Conduct periodic communications with district personnel directors regarding applicants.
(e) Provide district access to the applicant database by computer or telephone.
(f) Develop and distribute promotional materials related to teaching as a career, if needed.
(g) Publish and distribute information pertaining to employment opportunities, application procedures, and all routes toward teacher certification in Florida, and teacher salaries.
(h) Provide information related to certification procedures.
(i) Develop and sponsor the Florida Future Educator of America Program throughout the state.
(j) Identify best practices for retaining high-quality teachers.
(k) Create guidelines and identify best practices for the mentors of first-time teachers and for new teacher-support programs that focus on the professional assistance needed by first-time teachers throughout the first year of teaching. The department shall consult with the Florida Center for Reading Research and the Just Read, Florida! Office in developing the guidelines.
(l) Develop and implement an online Teacher Toolkit that contains a menu of resources, based on the Sunshine State Standards, that all teachers can use to enhance classroom instruction and increase teacher effectiveness, thus resulting in improved student achievement.
(m) Establish a week designated as Educator Appreciation Week to recognize the significant contributions made by educators to their students and school communities.
(n) Notify each teacher, via e-mail, of each item in the General Appropriations Act and legislation that affects teachers, including, but not limited to, the Florida Teachers Classroom Supply Assistance Program, death benefits for teachers, substantive legislation, rules of the State Board of Education, and issues concerning student achievement.
(3)(a) Each school board shall adopt policies relating to mentors and support for first-time teachers based upon guidelines issued by the Department of Education.
(b) By September 15 and February 15 each school year, each school district shall electronically submit accurate public school e-mail addresses for all instructional and administrative personnel, as identified in s. 1012.01(2) and (3), to the Department of Education.
(4) The Department of Education, in cooperation with district personnel offices, shall sponsor a job fair in a central part of the state to match in-state educators and potential educators and out-of-state educators and potential educators with teaching opportunities in this state. The Department of Education is authorized to collect a job fair registration fee not to exceed $20 per person and a booth fee not to exceed $250 per school district or other interested participating organization. The revenue from the fees shall be used to promote and operate the job fair. Funds may be used to purchase promotional items such as mementos, awards, and plaques.
(5) Subject to proviso in the General Appropriations Act, the Commissioner of Education may use funds appropriated by the Legislature and funds from federal grants and other sources to provide incentives for teacher recruitment and preparation programs. The purpose of the use of such funds is to recruit and prepare individuals who do not graduate from state-approved teacher preparation programs to teach in a Florida public school. The commissioner may contract with entities other than, and including, approved teacher preparation programs to provide intensive teacher training leading to passage of the required certification exams for the desired subject area or coverage. The commissioner shall survey school districts to evaluate the effectiveness of such programs.
History.s. 691, ch. 2002-387; s. 40, ch. 2003-391; s. 14, ch. 2004-271; s. 7, ch. 2004-295; s. 181, ch. 2010-102; s. 5, ch. 2013-185; s. 91, ch. 2014-39.
1012.06 Temporary assignment of professional staff among K-20 system.To facilitate economical and effective use of professional staff, school districts, public postsecondary educational institutions, and the Department of Education may enter into written agreements assigning employees among themselves. The purpose of the temporary assignment is to bring staff together within the state system of education, notwithstanding their current places of assignment or agencies of employment, who possess specific or unique knowledge or experience especially suited to solving specific problems, developing new programs, or providing technical assistance on specific tasks or programs.
(1) A person may be temporarily assigned for whatever period of time is required for a specific task; however, no assignment may be for a period of more than 2 years.
(2) A person on temporary assignment shall be considered on temporary assignment duty to regular work assignments of the sending agency; shall be entitled to all benefits to which the person would otherwise be entitled, including compensation for injury or disability; shall receive the same salary and benefits as at the person’s regular assignment; and shall remain an employee of the permanent employer for all purposes, except that the person shall be supervised by the agency to which assigned. Payment of such salary and benefits may be made by either agency as provided in the assignment agreement.
(3) Travel and per diem expenses incurred while a person is on temporary assignment shall be paid by the agency to which the person is assigned. Round-trip travel and moving expenses from the person’s permanent location to the temporary assignment may be paid by either agency, as provided in the assignment agreement, for any assignment in excess of 3 months. Notwithstanding s. 112.061 to the contrary, a person may be paid per diem expenses for any temporary assignment of 3 months or less.
History.s. 692, ch. 2002-387.
11012.07 Identification of critical teacher shortage areas.The term “critical teacher shortage area” means high-need content areas and high-priority location areas identified by the State Board of Education. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 necessary to annually identify critical teacher shortage areas. The state board must consider current and emerging educational requirements and workforce demands in determining critical teacher shortage areas. School grade levels may also be designated critical teacher shortage areas. Individual district school boards may identify and submit other critical teacher shortage areas. Such submissions must be aligned to current and emerging educational requirements and workforce demands in order to be approved by the State Board of Education. High-priority location areas shall be in high-density, low-economic urban schools; low-density, low-economic rural schools; and schools that earned a grade of “F” or three consecutive grades of “D” pursuant to s. 1008.34.
History.s. 693, ch. 2002-387; s. 9, ch. 2011-1; s. 18, ch. 2011-37; s. 10, ch. 2012-194.
1Note.Section 17, ch. 2011-1, provides that “[c]hapter 2010-279, Laws of Florida, does not apply to any rulemaking required to administer this act.”
PART III
PUBLIC SCHOOLS; PERSONNEL
A. Department of Education, District School
Board, District School Superintendent, and
School Principal Duties;
Public School Personnel
B. Personnel Files, Qualifications,
Contracts, Assessment for Public Schools
C. Personnel, Instructional
and Noninstructional; Authorization;
Requirements
D. Educator Certification
for Public Schools; Renewal; Duties
E. Leave, Retirement, Workers’ Compensation
in Public Schools
F. Educator Benefits; Liability Protection;
Awards in Public Schools
G. Personnel Discipline and Assistance
in Public Schools
A. Department of Education, District School
Board, District School Superintendent, and
School Principal Duties;
Public School Personnel
1012.21 Department of Education duties; K-12 personnel.
1012.22 Public school personnel; powers and duties of the district school board.
1012.23 School district personnel policies.
1012.2315 Assignment of teachers.
1012.24 Employment and compensation of instructional personnel during specific emergencies.
1012.25 School officers to turn over money and property to successors.
1012.26 Legal services for employees; reimbursement for judgments in civil actions.
1012.27 Public school personnel; powers and duties of district school superintendent.
1012.28 Public school personnel; duties of school principals.
1012.21 Department of Education duties; K-12 personnel.
(1) PERIODIC CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD CHECKS.In cooperation with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Department of Education may periodically perform criminal history record checks on individuals who hold a certificate pursuant to s. 1012.56 or s. 1012.57.
(2) COMPUTER DATABASE OF CERTAIN PERSONS WHOSE EMPLOYMENT WAS TERMINATED.
(a) The Department of Education shall establish a computer database containing the names of persons whose employment is terminated under s. 1012.33(1)(a) or (4)(c), which information shall be available to the district school superintendents and their designees.
(b) Each district school superintendent shall report to the Department of Education the name of any person terminated under s. 1012.33(1)(a) or (4)(c) within 10 working days after the date of final action by the district school board on the termination, and the department shall immediately enter the information in the computer records.
(3) SUSPENSION OR DENIAL OF TEACHING CERTIFICATE DUE TO CHILD SUPPORT DELINQUENCY.The Department of Education shall work cooperatively with the Department of Revenue to establish an automated method for periodically disclosing information relating to individuals who hold a certificate pursuant to s. 1012.56 or s. 1012.57 to the Department of Revenue, the state’s Title IV-D agency. The purpose of this section is to promote the public policy of this state relating to child support as established in s. 409.2551. The department shall, when directed by the court or the Department of Revenue pursuant to s. 409.2598, deny or suspend the application of any applicant found not to be in compliance with a support order, a subpoena, an order to show cause, or a written agreement with the Department of Revenue. The department shall issue or reinstate the certificate without additional charge to the certificateholder when notified by the court or the Department of Revenue that the certificateholder has complied with the terms of the support order. The department is not liable for any certificate denial or suspension resulting from the discharge of its duties under this section.
(4) CONFERENCES OF PUBLIC SCHOOL PERSONNEL.As a means of stimulating the professional improvement of personnel in service, the Department of Education may call conferences of personnel of the public schools on matters relating solely to education, which conferences, if held on a school day within the period of time covered by a contract, shall be attended with pay by all who may be designated in the call of the Department of Education, provided that the call of the Department of Education may indicate that attendance is optional, and that in any case of those absent from their usual duties during the time of the conference, only those actually in attendance at the conference shall be entitled to pay for time covered by the conference.
(5) SCHOOL-RELATED EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR PROGRAM.The Department of Education shall, by rule, provide for a School-Related Employee of the Year Program. In addition to any other provision, the department shall include in such rules that:
(a) The program shall apply to school-related employees.
(b) The program shall be modeled after the Teacher of the Year Program.
(c) One school-related employee of the year shall be nominated by each district school board in the state.
(d) A selection process shall be instituted to select the school-related employee of the year so that the top five finalists receive awards under the program.
(6) REPORTING.The Department of Education shall annually post online links to each school district’s collective bargaining contracts and the salary and benefits of the personnel or officers of any educator association which were paid by the school district pursuant to s. 1012.22.
History.s. 696, ch. 2002-387; s. 55, ch. 2006-74; s. 179, ch. 2007-5; s. 9, ch. 2008-92.
1012.22 Public school personnel; powers and duties of the district school board.The district school board shall:
(1) Designate positions to be filled, prescribe qualifications for those positions, and provide for the appointment, compensation, promotion, suspension, and dismissal of employees as follows, subject to the requirements of this chapter:
(a) Positions, qualifications, and appointments.
1. The district school board shall act upon written recommendations submitted by the district school superintendent for positions to be filled, for minimum qualifications for personnel for the various positions, and for the persons nominated to fill such positions.
2. The district school board may reject for good cause any employee nominated.
3. If the third nomination by the district school superintendent for any position is rejected for good cause, if the district school superintendent fails to submit a nomination for initial employment within a reasonable time as prescribed by the district school board, or if the district school superintendent fails to submit a nomination for reemployment within the time prescribed by law, the district school board may proceed on its own motion to fill such position.
4. The district school board’s decision to reject a person’s nomination does not give that person a right of action to sue over the rejection and may not be used as a cause of action by the nominated employee.
(b) Time to act on nominations.The district school board shall act no later than 3 weeks following the receipt of statewide, standardized assessment scores and data under s. 1008.22 and school grades, or June 30, whichever is later, on the district school superintendent’s nominations of supervisors, principals, and members of the instructional staff.
(c) Compensation and salary schedules.
1. Definitions.As used in this paragraph:
a. “Adjustment” means an addition to the base salary schedule that is not a bonus and becomes part of the employee’s permanent base salary and shall be considered compensation under s. 121.021(22).
b. “Grandfathered salary schedule” means the salary schedule or schedules adopted by a district school board before July 1, 2014, pursuant to subparagraph 4.
c. “Instructional personnel” means instructional personnel as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a)-(d), excluding substitute teachers.
d. “Performance salary schedule” means the salary schedule or schedules adopted by a district school board pursuant to subparagraph 5.
e. “Salary schedule” means the schedule or schedules used to provide the base salary for district school board personnel.
f. “School administrator” means a school administrator as defined in s. 1012.01(3)(c).
g. “Supplement” means an annual addition to the base salary for the term of the negotiated supplement as long as the employee continues his or her employment for the purpose of the supplement. A supplement does not become part of the employee’s continuing base salary but shall be considered compensation under s. 121.021(22).
2. Cost-of-living adjustment.A district school board may provide a cost-of-living salary adjustment if the adjustment:
a. Does not discriminate among comparable classes of employees based upon the salary schedule under which they are compensated.
b. Does not exceed 50 percent of the annual adjustment provided to instructional personnel rated as effective.
3. Advanced degrees.A district school board may not use advanced degrees in setting a salary schedule for instructional personnel or school administrators hired on or after July 1, 2011, unless the advanced degree is held in the individual’s area of certification and is only a salary supplement.
4. Grandfathered salary schedule.
a. The district school board shall adopt a salary schedule or salary schedules to be used as the basis for paying all school employees hired before July 1, 2014. Instructional personnel on annual contract as of July 1, 2014, shall be placed on the performance salary schedule adopted under subparagraph 5. Instructional personnel on continuing contract or professional service contract may opt into the performance salary schedule if the employee relinquishes such contract and agrees to be employed on an annual contract under s. 1012.335. Such an employee shall be placed on the performance salary schedule and may not return to continuing contract or professional service contract status. Any employee who opts into the performance salary schedule may not return to the grandfathered salary schedule.
b. In determining the grandfathered salary schedule for instructional personnel, a district school board must base a portion of each employee’s compensation upon performance demonstrated under s. 1012.34 and shall provide differentiated pay for both instructional personnel and school administrators based upon district-determined factors, including, but not limited to, additional responsibilities, school demographics, critical shortage areas, and level of job performance difficulties.
15. Performance salary schedule.By July 1, 2014, the district school board shall adopt a performance salary schedule that provides annual salary adjustments for instructional personnel and school administrators based upon performance determined under s. 1012.34. Employees hired on or after July 1, 2014, or employees who choose to move from the grandfathered salary schedule to the performance salary schedule shall be compensated pursuant to the performance salary schedule once they have received the appropriate performance evaluation for this purpose. However, a classroom teacher whose performance evaluation utilizes student learning growth measures established under s. 1012.34(7)(e) shall remain under the grandfathered salary schedule until his or her teaching assignment changes to a subject for which there is an assessment or the school district establishes equally appropriate measures of student learning growth as defined under s. 1012.34 and rules of the State Board of Education.
a. Base salary.The base salary shall be established as follows:
(I) The base salary for instructional personnel or school administrators who opt into the performance salary schedule shall be the salary paid in the prior year, including adjustments only.
(II) Beginning July 1, 2014, instructional personnel or school administrators new to the district, returning to the district after a break in service without an authorized leave of absence, or appointed for the first time to a position in the district in the capacity of instructional personnel or school administrator shall be placed on the performance salary schedule.
b. Salary adjustments.Salary adjustments for highly effective or effective performance shall be established as follows:
(I) The annual salary adjustment under the performance salary schedule for an employee rated as highly effective must be greater than the highest annual salary adjustment available to an employee of the same classification through any other salary schedule adopted by the district.
(II) The annual salary adjustment under the performance salary schedule for an employee rated as effective must be equal to at least 50 percent and no more than 75 percent of the annual adjustment provided for a highly effective employee of the same classification.
(III) The performance salary schedule shall not provide an annual salary adjustment for an employee who receives a rating other than highly effective or effective for the year.
c. Salary supplements.In addition to the salary adjustments, each district school board shall provide for salary supplements for activities that must include, but are not limited to:
(I) Assignment to a Title I eligible school.
(II) Assignment to a school that earned a grade of “F” or three consecutive grades of “D” pursuant to s. 1008.34 such that the supplement remains in force for at least 1 year following improved performance in that school.
(III) Certification and teaching in critical teacher shortage areas. Statewide critical teacher shortage areas shall be identified by the State Board of Education under s. 1012.07. However, the district school board may identify other areas of critical shortage within the school district for purposes of this sub-sub-subparagraph and may remove areas identified by the state board which do not apply within the school district.
(IV) Assignment of additional academic responsibilities.

If budget constraints in any given year limit a district school board’s ability to fully fund all adopted salary schedules, the performance salary schedule shall not be reduced on the basis of total cost or the value of individual awards in a manner that is proportionally greater than reductions to any other salary schedules adopted by the district.

(d) Contracts and terms of service.The district school board shall provide written contracts for all regular members of the instructional staff.
(e) Transfer and promotion.The district school board shall act on recommendations of the district school superintendent regarding transfer and promotion of any employee. The district school superintendent’s primary consideration in recommending an individual for a promotion must be the individual’s demonstrated effectiveness under s. 1012.34.
(f) Suspension, dismissal, and return to annual contract status.The district school board shall suspend, dismiss, or return to annual contract members of the instructional staff and other school employees; however, no administrative assistant, supervisor, principal, teacher, or other member of the instructional staff may be discharged, removed, or returned to annual contract except as provided in this chapter.
(g) Awards and incentives.The district school board shall provide for recognition of district employees, students, school volunteers, and advisory committee members who have contributed outstanding and meritorious service in their fields or service areas. After considering recommendations of the district school superintendent, the district school board shall adopt rules establishing and regulating the meritorious service awards necessary for the efficient operation of the program. An award or incentive granted under this paragraph may not be considered in determining the salary schedules required by paragraph (c). Monetary awards shall be limited to persons who propose procedures or ideas adopted by the board which will result in eliminating or reducing district school board expenditures or improving district or school center operations. Nonmonetary awards shall include, but are not limited to, certificates, plaques, medals, ribbons, and photographs. The district school board may expend funds for such recognition and awards. No award granted under this paragraph shall exceed $2,000 or 10 percent of the first year’s gross savings, whichever is greater.
(h) Planning and training time for teachers.The district school board shall adopt rules to make provisions for teachers to have time for lunch, professional planning, and professional development time when they will not be directly responsible for the children if some adult supervision is furnished for the students during such periods.
(i) Comprehensive program of staff development.The district school board shall establish a comprehensive program of staff development that incorporates school improvement plans pursuant to s. 1001.42 and is aligned with principal leadership training pursuant to s. 1012.986 as a part of the plan.
(2) Adopt policies relating to personnel leave as follows:
(a) Annual leave.The district school board may adopt rules that provide for the earning of annual leave by employees, including educational support employees, who are employed for 12 calendar months a year.
(b) Sick leave.The district school board may adopt rules relating to sick leave, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(c) Illness-in-line-of-duty leave.The district school board may adopt rules relating to illness-in-the-line-of-duty leave, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(d) Sabbatical leave.The district school board may adopt rules relating to sabbatical leave, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
History.s. 697, ch. 2002-387; s. 50, ch. 2003-391; s. 56, ch. 2006-74; s. 7, ch. 2007-3; s. 180, ch. 2007-5; s. 4, ch. 2011-1; s. 11, ch. 2012-194; s. 40, ch. 2013-27; s. 92, ch. 2014-39.
1Note.Section 17, ch. 2011-1, provides that “[c]hapter 2010-279, Laws of Florida, does not apply to any rulemaking required to administer this act.”
1012.23 School district personnel policies.
(1) Except as otherwise provided by law or the State Constitution, district school boards may adopt rules governing personnel matters, including the assignment of duties and responsibilities for all district employees.
(2) A district school board member may not employ or appoint a relative, as defined in s. 112.3135, to work under the direct supervision of that district school board member.
History.s. 698, ch. 2002-387.
1012.2315 Assignment of teachers.
(1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT.The Legislature finds disparities between teachers assigned to teach in a majority of schools that do not need improvement and schools that do need improvement pursuant to s. 1008.33. The disparities may be found in the assignment of temporarily certified teachers, teachers in need of improvement, and out-of-field teachers and in the performance of the students. It is the intent of the Legislature that district school boards have flexibility through the collective bargaining process to assign teachers more equitably across the schools in the district.
(2) ASSIGNMENT TO SCHOOLS GRADED “D” or “F”.
(a) A school district may not assign a higher percentage than the school district average of temporarily certified teachers, teachers in need of improvement, or out-of-field teachers to schools graded “D” or “F” pursuant to s. 1008.34.
(b)1. Beginning July 1, 2014, a school district may assign an individual newly hired as instructional personnel to a school that has earned a grade of “F” in the previous year or any combination of three consecutive grades of “D” or “F” in the previous 3 years pursuant to s. 1008.34 if the individual:
a. Has received an effective rating or highly effective rating in the immediate prior year’s performance evaluation pursuant s. 1012.34;
b. Has successfully completed or is enrolled in a teacher preparation program pursuant to s. 1004.04, s. 1004.85, or s. 1012.56, or a teacher preparation program specified in State Board of Education rule, is provided with high quality mentoring during the first 2 years of employment, holds a certificate issued pursuant to s. 1012.56, and holds a probationary contract pursuant to s. 1012.335(2)(a); or
c. Holds a probationary contract pursuant to s. 1012.335(2)(a), holds a certificate issued pursuant to s. 1012.56, and has successful teaching experience, and if, in the judgment of the school principal, students would benefit from the placement of that individual.
2. As used in this paragraph, the term “mentoring” includes the use of student achievement data combined with at least monthly observations to improve the educator’s effectiveness in improving student outcomes. Mentoring may be provided by a school district, a teacher preparation program approved pursuant to s. 1004.04, s. 1004.85, or s. 1012.56, or a teacher preparation program specified in State Board of Education rule.
3. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement this paragraph.

Each school district shall annually certify to the Commissioner of Education that the requirements in this subsection have been met. If the commissioner determines that a school district is not in compliance with this subsection, the State Board of Education shall be notified and shall take action pursuant to s. 1008.32 in the next regularly scheduled meeting to require compliance.

(3) SALARY INCENTIVES.District school boards are authorized to provide salary incentives to meet the requirement of subsection (2). A district school board may not sign a collective bargaining agreement that precludes the school district from providing sufficient incentives to meet this requirement.
(4) COLLECTIVE BARGAINING.Notwithstanding provisions of chapter 447 relating to district school board collective bargaining, collective bargaining provisions may not preclude a school district from providing incentives to high-quality teachers and assigning such teachers to low-performing schools.
(5) REPORT.
(a) By July 1, 2012, the Department of Education shall annually report on its website, in a manner that is accessible to the public, the performance rating data reported by district school boards under s. 1012.34. The report must include the percentage of classroom teachers, instructional personnel, and school administrators receiving each performance rating aggregated by school district and by school.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 1012.31(3)(a)2., each school district shall annually report to the parent of any student who is assigned to a classroom teacher or school administrator having two consecutive annual performance evaluation ratings of unsatisfactory under s. 1012.34, two annual performance evaluation ratings of unsatisfactory within a 3-year period under s. 1012.34, or three consecutive annual performance evaluation ratings of needs improvement or a combination of needs improvement and unsatisfactory under s. 1012.34.
(6) ASSIGNMENT OF TEACHERS BASED UPON PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS.
(a) If a high school or middle school student is currently taught by a classroom teacher who, during that school year, receives a performance evaluation rating of “needs improvement” or “unsatisfactory” under s. 1012.34, the student may not be assigned the following school year to a classroom teacher in the same subject area who received a performance evaluation rating of “needs improvement” or “unsatisfactory” in the preceding school year.
(b) If an elementary school student is currently taught by a classroom teacher who, during that school year, receives a performance evaluation rating of “needs improvement” or “unsatisfactory” under s. 1012.34, the student may not be assigned the following school year to a classroom teacher who received a performance evaluation rating of “needs improvement” or “unsatisfactory” in the preceding school year.
(c) For a student enrolling in an extracurricular course as defined in s. 1003.01(15), a parent may choose to have the student taught by a teacher who received a performance evaluation of “needs improvement” or “unsatisfactory” in the preceding school year if the student and the student’s parent receive an explanation of the impact of teacher effectiveness on student learning and the principal receives written consent from the parent.
History.s. 57, ch. 2006-74; s. 5, ch. 2009-144; s. 10, ch. 2011-1; s. 12, ch. 2012-194; s. 5, ch. 2013-250; s. 2, ch. 2014-32.
1012.24 Employment and compensation of instructional personnel during specific emergencies.In the event of an epidemic, strike, mass walkout, substantial numbers of teacher resignations, or other urgent condition, a district school board upon recommendation of the district school superintendent may find and declare that an emergency exists because there is not a sufficient number of certified teachers to continue the normal operation of the schools within the district. In said event the district school board may upon recommendation of the district school superintendent employ, contract with, and compensate for instructional services rendered any person who shall be deemed qualified by regulations of the district school board. In such event, a state certificate to teach shall not be required for such employment, contract, or compensation.
History.s. 699, ch. 2002-387.
1012.25 School officers to turn over money and property to successors.Every school officer shall turn over to his or her successor or successors in office, on retiring, all books, papers, documents, records, funds, money, and property of whatever kind which the officer may have acquired, received, and held by virtue of his or her office and shall take full receipt for them from his or her successor and shall make in correct form all reports required by the state. No school officer who receives any salary or compensation for his or her services shall be entitled to be paid or compensated for the last month served until the provisions of this section have been fully observed. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall forfeit his or her compensation for the last month served and commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.s. 700, ch. 2002-387.
1012.26 Legal services for employees; reimbursement for judgments in civil actions.Each district school board may provide legal services for officers and employees of the school board who are charged with civil or criminal actions arising out of and in the course of the performance of assigned duties and responsibilities. The district school board shall provide for reimbursement of reasonable expenses for legal services for officers and employees of school boards who are charged with civil or criminal actions arising out of and in the course of the performance of assigned duties and responsibilities upon successful defense by the employee or officer. However, in any case in which the officer or employee pleads guilty or nolo contendere or is found guilty of any such action, the officer or employee shall reimburse the district school board for any legal services which the school board may have supplied pursuant to this section. A district school board may also reimburse an officer or employee of the school board for any judgment which may be entered against him or her in a civil action arising out of and in the course of the performance of his or her assigned duties and responsibilities. Each expenditure by a district school board for legal defense of an officer or employee, or for reimbursement pursuant to this section, shall be made at a public meeting with notice pursuant to s. 120.525(1). The provision of such legal services or reimbursement under the conditions described above is declared to be a district school purpose for which district school funds may be expended.
History.s. 701, ch. 2002-387.
1012.27 Public school personnel; powers and duties of district school superintendent.The district school superintendent is responsible for directing the work of the personnel, subject to the requirements of this chapter, and in addition the district school superintendent shall perform the following:
(1) POSITIONS, QUALIFICATIONS, AND NOMINATIONS.
(a) Recommend to the district school board duties and responsibilities which need to be performed and positions which need to be filled to make possible the development of an adequate school program in the district.
(b) Recommend minimum qualifications of personnel for these various positions, and nominate in writing persons to fill such positions.

The district school superintendent’s recommendations for filling instructional positions at the school level must consider nominations received from school principals of the respective schools. Before transferring a teacher who holds a professional teaching certificate from one school to another, the district school superintendent shall consult with the principal of the receiving school and allow the principal to review the teacher’s records, including student performance demonstrated under s. 1012.34, and interview the teacher. If, in the judgment of the principal, students would not benefit from the placement, an alternative placement may be sought. A principal may refuse the placement in accordance with s. 1012.28(6).

(2) COMPENSATION AND SALARY SCHEDULES.Prepare and recommend to the district school board for adoption a salary schedule or salary schedules in accordance with s. 1012.22.
(3) CONTRACTS AND TERMS OF SERVICE.Recommend to the district school board terms for contracting with employees and prepare such contracts as are approved.
(4) TRANSFER.Recommend employees for transfer and transfer any employee during any emergency and report the transfer to the district school board at its next regular meeting.
(5) SUSPENSION AND DISMISSAL.Suspend members of the instructional staff and other school employees during emergencies for a period extending to and including the day of the next regular or special meeting of the district school board and notify the district school board immediately of such suspension. When authorized to do so, serve notice on the suspended member of the instructional staff of charges made against him or her and of the date of hearing. Recommend employees for dismissal under the terms prescribed herein.
(6) EMPLOYMENT HISTORY CHECKS.Before employing instructional personnel and school administrators, as defined in s. 1012.01, in any position that requires direct contact with students, conduct employment history checks of each of the personnel’s or administrators’ previous employers, screen the personnel or administrators through use of the educator screening tools described in s. 1001.10(5), and document the findings. If unable to contact a previous employer, the district school superintendent shall document efforts to contact the employer.
(7) DIRECT WORK OF EMPLOYEES AND SUPERVISE INSTRUCTION.Direct or arrange for the proper direction and improvement, under rules of the district school board, of the work of all members of the instructional staff and other employees of the district school system, supervise or arrange under rules of the district school board for the supervision of instruction in the district, and take such steps as are necessary to bring about continuous improvement.
History.s. 702, ch. 2002-387; s. 42, ch. 2003-391; s. 58, ch. 2006-74; s. 25, ch. 2008-108; s. 11, ch. 2011-1.
1012.28 Public school personnel; duties of school principals.
(1) Public school principals shall supervise public school personnel as the district school board determines necessary.
(2) The school principal is responsible for recommending to the district school superintendent the employment of instructional personnel to be assigned to the school to which the principal is assigned.
(3) Each school principal is responsible for the performance of all personnel employed by the district school board and assigned to the school to which the principal is assigned. The school principal shall faithfully and effectively apply the personnel evaluation system approved pursuant to s. 1012.34.
(4) Each school principal shall assist the teachers within the school to use student assessment data, as measured by student learning gains pursuant to s. 1008.22, for self-evaluation.
(5) Each school principal shall perform such duties as may be assigned by the district school superintendent, pursuant to the rules of the district school board. Such rules shall include, but are not limited to, rules relating to administrative responsibility, instructional leadership in implementing the Sunshine State Standards and the overall educational program of the school to which the school principal is assigned, submission of personnel recommendations to the district school superintendent, administrative responsibility for records and reports, administration of corporal punishment, and student suspension.
(6) A principal may refuse to accept the placement or transfer of instructional personnel by the district school superintendent to his or her school unless the instructional personnel has a performance rating of effective or highly effective under s. 1012.34.
(7) A school principal who fails to comply with this section shall be ineligible for any portion of the performance pay and differentiated pay under s. 1012.22.
History.s. 703, ch. 2002-387; s. 59, ch. 2006-74; s. 12, ch. 2011-1.
B. Personnel Files, Qualifications,
Contracts, Assessment for Public Schools
1012.31 Personnel files.
1012.315 Disqualification from employment.
1012.32 Qualifications of personnel.
1012.321 Exceptions for certain instructional personnel from background screening requirements.
1012.33 Contracts with instructional staff, supervisors, and school principals.
1012.335 Contracts with instructional personnel hired on or after July 1, 2011.
1012.34 Personnel evaluation procedures and criteria.
1012.3401 Requirements for measuring student performance in instructional personnel and school administrator performance evaluations; performance evaluation of personnel for purposes of performance salary schedule.
1012.341 Exemption from performance evaluation system and compensation and salary schedule requirements.
1012.31 Personnel files.Public school system employee personnel files shall be maintained according to the following provisions:
(1)(a) Except for materials pertaining to work performance or such other matters that may be cause for discipline, suspension, or dismissal under laws of this state, no derogatory materials relating to an employee’s conduct, service, character, or personality shall be placed in the personnel file of such employee.
(b) No anonymous letter or anonymous materials shall be placed in the personnel file.
(2)(a) Materials relating to work performance, discipline, suspension, or dismissal must be reduced to writing and signed by a person competent to know the facts or make the judgment.
(b)1. No such materials may be placed in a personnel file unless they have been reduced to writing within 45 days, exclusive of the summer vacation period, of the school system administration becoming aware of the facts reflected in the materials.
2. Additional information related to such written materials previously placed in the file may be appended to such materials to clarify or amplify them as needed.
(c) A copy of such materials to be added to an employee’s personnel file shall be provided to the employee either:
1. By certified mail, return receipt requested, to his or her address of record; or
2. By personal delivery. The employee’s signature on a copy of the materials to be filed shall be proof that such materials were given to the employee, with the understanding that such signature merely signifies receipt and does not necessarily indicate agreement with its contents.
(d) An employee has the right to answer in writing any such materials in a personnel file on July 1, 1983, as well as any such materials filed thereafter, and the answer shall be attached to the file copy. An employee has the right to request that the district school superintendent or the superintendent’s designee make an informal inquiry regarding material in the employee’s personnel file which the employee believes to be false. The official who makes the inquiry shall append to the material a written report of his or her findings.
(e) Upon request, an employee, or any person designated in writing by the employee, shall be permitted to examine the personnel file of such employee. The employee shall be permitted conveniently to reproduce any materials in the file, at a cost no greater than the fees prescribed in s. 119.07(4).
(f) The custodian of the record shall maintain a record in the file of those persons reviewing the file each time it is reviewed.
(3)(a) Public school system employee personnel files are subject to the provisions of s. 119.07(1), except as follows:
1. Any complaint and any material relating to the investigation of a complaint against an employee shall be confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) until the conclusion of the preliminary investigation or until such time as the preliminary investigation ceases to be active. If the preliminary investigation is concluded with the finding that there is no probable cause to proceed further and with no disciplinary action taken or charges filed, a statement to that effect signed by the responsible investigating official shall be attached to the complaint, and the complaint and all such materials shall be open thereafter to inspection pursuant to s. 119.07(1). If the preliminary investigation is concluded with the finding that there is probable cause to proceed further or with disciplinary action taken or charges filed, the complaint and all such materials shall be open thereafter to inspection pursuant to s. 119.07(1). If the preliminary investigation ceases to be active, the complaint and all such materials shall be open thereafter to inspection pursuant to s. 119.07(1). For the purpose of this subsection, a preliminary investigation shall be considered active as long as it is continuing with a reasonable, good faith anticipation that an administrative finding will be made in the foreseeable future. An investigation shall be presumed to be inactive if no finding relating to probable cause is made within 60 days after the complaint is made.
2. An employee evaluation prepared pursuant to s. 1012.33, s. 1012.34, or s. 1012.56 or rules adopted by the State Board of Education or district school board under the authority of those sections shall be confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) until the end of the school year immediately following the school year in which the evaluation was made. No evaluation prepared before July 1, 1983, shall be made public pursuant to this section.
3. No material derogatory to an employee shall be open to inspection until 10 days after the employee has been notified pursuant to paragraph (2)(c).
4. The payroll deduction records of an employee shall be confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1).
5. Employee medical records, including psychiatric and psychological records, shall be confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1); however, at any hearing relative to the competency or performance of an employee, the administrative law judge, hearing officer, or panel shall have access to such records.
(b) Notwithstanding other provisions of this subsection, all aspects of the personnel file of each employee shall be open to inspection at all times by district school board members, the district school superintendent, and the principal, or their respective designees, in the exercise of their respective duties.
(c) Notwithstanding other provisions of this subsection, all aspects of the personnel file of each employee shall be made available to law enforcement personnel in the conduct of a lawful criminal investigation.
(4) The term “personnel file,” as used in this section, means all records, information, data, or materials maintained by a public school system, in any form or retrieval system whatsoever, with respect to any of its employees, which is uniquely applicable to that employee whether maintained in one or more locations.
History.s. 705, ch. 2002-387; s. 34, ch. 2004-335.
1012.315 Disqualification from employment.A person is ineligible for educator certification, and instructional personnel and school administrators, as defined in s. 1012.01, are ineligible for employment in any position that requires direct contact with students in a district school system, charter school, or private school that accepts scholarship students under s. 1002.39 or s. 1002.395, if the person, instructional personnel, or school administrator has been convicted of:
(1) Any felony offense prohibited under any of the following statutes:
(a) Section 393.135, relating to sexual misconduct with certain developmentally disabled clients and reporting of such sexual misconduct.
(b) Section 394.4593, relating to sexual misconduct with certain mental health patients and reporting of such sexual misconduct.
(c) Section 415.111, relating to adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation of aged persons or disabled adults.
(d) Section 782.04, relating to murder.
(e) Section 782.07, relating to manslaughter, aggravated manslaughter of an elderly person or disabled adult, aggravated manslaughter of a child, or aggravated manslaughter of an officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, or a paramedic.
(f) Section 784.021, relating to aggravated assault.
(g) Section 784.045, relating to aggravated battery.
(h) Section 784.075, relating to battery on a detention or commitment facility staff member or a juvenile probation officer.
(i) Section 787.01, relating to kidnapping.
(j) Section 787.02, relating to false imprisonment.
(k) Section 787.025, relating to luring or enticing a child.
(l) Section 787.04(2), relating to leading, taking, enticing, or removing a minor beyond the state limits, or concealing the location of a minor, with criminal intent pending custody proceedings.
(m) Section 787.04(3), relating to leading, taking, enticing, or removing a minor beyond the state limits, or concealing the location of a minor, with criminal intent pending dependency proceedings or proceedings concerning alleged abuse or neglect of a minor.
(n) Section 790.115(1), relating to exhibiting firearms or weapons at a school-sponsored event, on school property, or within 1,000 feet of a school.
(o) Section 790.115(2)(b), relating to possessing an electric weapon or device, destructive device, or other weapon at a school-sponsored event or on school property.
(p) Section 794.011, relating to sexual battery.
(q) Former s. 794.041, relating to sexual activity with or solicitation of a child by a person in familial or custodial authority.
(r) Section 794.05, relating to unlawful sexual activity with certain minors.
(s) Section 794.08, relating to female genital mutilation.
(t) Chapter 796, relating to prostitution.
(u) Chapter 800, relating to lewdness and indecent exposure.
(v) Section 806.01, relating to arson.
(w) Section 810.14, relating to voyeurism.
(x) Section 810.145, relating to video voyeurism.
(y) Section 812.014(6), relating to coordinating the commission of theft in excess of $3,000.
(z) Section 812.0145, relating to theft from persons 65 years of age or older.
(aa) Section 812.019, relating to dealing in stolen property.
(bb) Section 812.13, relating to robbery.
(cc) Section 812.131, relating to robbery by sudden snatching.
(dd) Section 812.133, relating to carjacking.
(ee) Section 812.135, relating to home-invasion robbery.
(ff) Section 817.563, relating to fraudulent sale of controlled substances.
(gg) Section 825.102, relating to abuse, aggravated abuse, or neglect of an elderly person or disabled adult.
(hh) Section 825.103, relating to exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult.
(ii) Section 825.1025, relating to lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of an elderly person or disabled person.
(jj) Section 826.04, relating to incest.
(kk) Section 827.03, relating to child abuse, aggravated child abuse, or neglect of a child.
(ll) Section 827.04, relating to contributing to the delinquency or dependency of a child.
(mm) Section 827.071, relating to sexual performance by a child.
(nn) Section 843.01, relating to resisting arrest with violence.
(oo) Chapter 847, relating to obscenity.
(pp) Section 874.05, relating to causing, encouraging, soliciting, or recruiting another to join a criminal street gang.
(qq) Chapter 893, relating to drug abuse prevention and control, if the offense was a felony of the second degree or greater severity.
(rr) Section 916.1075, relating to sexual misconduct with certain forensic clients and reporting of such sexual misconduct.
(ss) Section 944.47, relating to introduction, removal, or possession of contraband at a correctional facility.
(tt) Section 985.701, relating to sexual misconduct in juvenile justice programs.
(uu) Section 985.711, relating to introduction, removal, or possession of contraband at a juvenile detention facility or commitment program.
(2) Any misdemeanor offense prohibited under any of the following statutes:
(a) Section 784.03, relating to battery, if the victim of the offense was a minor.
(b) Section 787.025, relating to luring or enticing a child.
(3) Any criminal act committed in another state or under federal law which, if committed in this state, constitutes an offense prohibited under any statute listed in subsection (1) or subsection (2).
(4) Any delinquent act committed in this state or any delinquent or criminal act committed in another state or under federal law which, if committed in this state, qualifies an individual for inclusion on the Registered Juvenile Sex Offender List under s. 943.0435(1)(a)1.d.
History.s. 26, ch. 2008-108; s. 18, ch. 2010-24.
1012.32 Qualifications of personnel.
(1) To be eligible for appointment in any position in any district school system, a person must be of good moral character; must have attained the age of 18 years, if he or she is to be employed in an instructional capacity; must not be ineligible for such employment under s. 1012.315; and must, when required by law, hold a certificate or license issued under rules of the State Board of Education or the Department of Children and Families, except when employed pursuant to s. 1012.55 or under the emergency provisions of s. 1012.24. Previous residence in this state shall not be required in any school of the state as a prerequisite for any person holding a valid Florida certificate or license to serve in an instructional capacity.
(2)(a) Instructional and noninstructional personnel who are hired or contracted to fill positions that require direct contact with students in any district school system or university lab school must, upon employment or engagement to provide services, undergo background screening as required under s. 1012.465 or s. 1012.56, whichever is applicable.
(b) Instructional and noninstructional personnel who are hired or contracted to fill positions in any charter school and members of the governing board of any charter school, in compliance with s. 1002.33(12)(g), must, upon employment, engagement of services, or appointment, undergo background screening as required under s. 1012.465 or s. 1012.56, whichever is applicable, by filing with the district school board for the school district in which the charter school is located a complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized law enforcement agency or an employee of the school or school district who is trained to take fingerprints.
(c) Instructional and noninstructional personnel who are hired or contracted to fill positions that require direct contact with students in an alternative school that operates under contract with a district school system must, upon employment or engagement to provide services, undergo background screening as required under s. 1012.465 or s. 1012.56, whichever is applicable, by filing with the district school board for the school district to which the alternative school is under contract a complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized law enforcement agency or an employee of the school or school district who is trained to take fingerprints.
(d) Student teachers and persons participating in a field experience pursuant to s. 1004.04(5) or s. 1004.85 in any district school system, lab school, or charter school must, upon engagement to provide services, undergo background screening as required under s. 1012.56.

Fingerprints shall be submitted to the Department of Law Enforcement for statewide criminal and juvenile records checks and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for federal criminal records checks. A person subject to this subsection who is found ineligible for employment under s. 1012.315, or otherwise found through background screening to have been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude as defined by rule of the State Board of Education, shall not be employed, engaged to provide services, or serve in any position that requires direct contact with students. Probationary persons subject to this subsection terminated because of their criminal record have the right to appeal such decisions. The cost of the background screening may be borne by the district school board, the charter school, the employee, the contractor, or a person subject to this subsection.

(3)(a) All fingerprints submitted to the Department of Law Enforcement as required by subsection (2) shall be retained by the Department of Law Enforcement in a manner provided by rule and entered in the statewide automated biometric identification system authorized by s. 943.05(2)(b). Such fingerprints shall thereafter be available for all purposes and uses authorized for arrest fingerprints entered in the statewide automated biometric identification system pursuant to s. 943.051.
(b) The Department of Law Enforcement shall search all arrest fingerprints received under s. 943.051 against the fingerprints retained in the statewide automated biometric identification system under paragraph (a). Any arrest record that is identified with the retained fingerprints of a person subject to the background screening under this section shall be reported to the employing or contracting school district or the school district with which the person is affiliated. Each school district is required to participate in this search process by payment of an annual fee to the Department of Law Enforcement and by informing the Department of Law Enforcement of any change in the affiliation, employment, or contractual status or place of affiliation, employment, or contracting of its instructional and noninstructional personnel whose fingerprints are retained under paragraph (a). The Department of Law Enforcement shall adopt a rule setting the amount of the annual fee to be imposed upon each school district for performing these searches and establishing the procedures for the retention of instructional and noninstructional personnel fingerprints and the dissemination of search results. The fee may be borne by the district school board, the contractor, or the person fingerprinted.
(c) Personnel whose fingerprints are not retained by the Department of Law Enforcement under paragraphs (a) and (b) must be refingerprinted and rescreened in accordance with subsection (2) upon reemployment or reengagement to provide services in order to comply with the requirements of this subsection.
History.s. 706, ch. 2002-387; s. 9, ch. 2004-295; s. 27, ch. 2008-108; s. 69, ch. 2013-116; s. 6, ch. 2013-185; s. 380, ch. 2014-19.
1012.321 Exceptions for certain instructional personnel from background screening requirements.Instructional personnel who are required to undergo level 2 background screening under s. 393.0655 or s. 402.305 and who meet the level 2 screening standards in s. 435.04 are not required to be rescreened in order to satisfy the screening requirements in s. 1012.32 if the instructional personnel:
(1) Have completed the criminal history check within 5 years prior to having direct contact with students;
(2) Are rescreened every 5 years and meet the level 2 screening standards; and
(3) Have their fingerprints retained by the Department of Law Enforcement.
History.s. 9, ch. 2007-207.
1012.33 Contracts with instructional staff, supervisors, and school principals.
(1)1(a) Each person employed as a member of the instructional staff in any district school system shall be properly certified pursuant to s. 1012.56 or s. 1012.57 or employed pursuant to s. 1012.39 and shall be entitled to and shall receive a written contract as specified in this section. All such contracts, except continuing contracts as specified in subsection (4), shall contain provisions for dismissal during the term of the contract only for just cause. Just cause includes, but is not limited to, the following instances, as defined by rule of the State Board of Education: immorality, misconduct in office, incompetency, two consecutive annual performance evaluation ratings of unsatisfactory under s. 1012.34, two annual performance evaluation ratings of unsatisfactory within a 3-year period under s. 1012.34, three consecutive annual performance evaluation ratings of needs improvement or a combination of needs improvement and unsatisfactory under s. 1012.34, gross insubordination, willful neglect of duty, or being convicted or found guilty of, or entering a plea of guilty to, regardless of adjudication of guilt, any crime involving moral turpitude.
(b) A supervisor or school principal shall be properly certified and shall receive a written contract as specified in this section. Such contract may be for an initial period not to exceed 3 years, subject to annual review and renewal. The first 97 days of an initial contract is a probationary period. During the probationary period, the employee may be dismissed without cause or may resign from the contractual position without breach of contract. After the first 3 years, the contract may be renewed for a period not to exceed 3 years and shall contain provisions for dismissal during the term of the contract only for just cause, in addition to such other provisions as are prescribed by the district school board.
(2) Any person so employed on the basis of a written offer of a specific position by a duly authorized agent of the district school board for a stated term of service at a specified salary, and who accepted such offer by telegram or letter or by signing the regular contract form, who violates the terms of such contract or agreement by leaving his or her position without first being released from his or her contract or agreement by the district school board of the district in which the person is employed shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Education Practices Commission. The district school board shall take official action on such violation and shall furnish a copy of its official minutes to the Commissioner of Education.
(3) A professional service contract shall be renewed each year unless:
(a) The district school superintendent, after receiving the recommendations required by s. 1012.34, charges the employee with unsatisfactory performance and notifies the employee of performance deficiencies as required by s. 1012.34; or
(b) The employee receives two consecutive annual performance evaluation ratings of unsatisfactory under s. 1012.34, two annual performance evaluation ratings of unsatisfactory within a 3-year period under s. 1012.34, or three consecutive annual performance evaluation ratings of needs improvement or a combination of needs improvement and unsatisfactory under s. 1012.34.
(4)(a) An employee who had continuing contract status prior to July 1, 1984, shall be entitled to retain such contract and all rights arising therefrom as prescribed by rules of the State Board of Education adopted pursuant to s. 231.36, Florida Statutes (1981), unless the employee voluntarily relinquishes his or her continuing contract.
(b) Any member of the district administrative or supervisory staff and any member of the instructional staff, including any school principal, who is under continuing contract may be dismissed or may be returned to annual contract status for another 3 years in the discretion of the district school board, at the end of the school year, when a recommendation to that effect is submitted in writing to the district school board on or before April 1 of any school year, giving good and sufficient reasons therefor, by the district school superintendent, by the school principal if his or her contract is not under consideration, or by a majority of the district school board. The employee whose contract is under consideration shall be duly notified in writing by the party or parties preferring the charges at least 5 days prior to the filing of the written recommendation with the district school board, and such notice shall include a copy of the charges and the recommendation to the district school board. The district school board shall proceed to take appropriate action. Any decision adverse to the employee shall be made by a majority vote of the full membership of the district school board. Any such decision adverse to the employee may be appealed by the employee pursuant to s. 120.68.
(c) Any member of the district administrative or supervisory staff and any member of the instructional staff, including any school principal, who is under continuing contract may be suspended or dismissed at any time during the school year; however, the charges against him or her must be based on immorality, misconduct in office, incompetency, gross insubordination, willful neglect of duty, drunkenness, or being convicted or found guilty of, or entering a plea of guilty to, regardless of adjudication of guilt, any crime involving moral turpitude, as these terms are defined by rule of the State Board of Education. Whenever such charges are made against an employee of the district school board, the district school board may suspend such person without pay; but, if the charges are not sustained, he or she shall be immediately reinstated, and his or her back salary shall be paid. In cases of suspension by the district school board or by the district school superintendent, the district school board shall determine upon the evidence submitted whether the charges have been sustained and, if the charges are sustained, shall determine either to dismiss the employee or fix the terms under which he or she may be reinstated. If such charges are sustained by a majority vote of the full membership of the district school board and the employee is discharged, his or her contract of employment shall be canceled. Any decision adverse to the employee may be appealed by the employee pursuant to s. 120.68, provided the appeal is filed within 30 days after the decision of the district school board.
(5) If workforce reduction is needed, a district school board must retain employees at a school or in the school district based upon educational program needs and the performance evaluations of employees within the affected program areas. Within the program areas requiring reduction, the employee with the lowest performance evaluations must be the first to be released; the employee with the next lowest performance evaluations must be the second to be released; and reductions shall continue in like manner until the needed number of reductions has occurred. A district school board may not prioritize retention of employees based upon seniority.
(6)(a) Any member of the instructional staff, excluding an employee specified in subsection (4), may be suspended or dismissed at any time during the term of the contract for just cause as provided in paragraph (1)(a). The district school board must notify the employee in writing whenever charges are made against the employee and may suspend such person without pay; but, if the charges are not sustained, the employee shall be immediately reinstated, and his or her back salary shall be paid. If the employee wishes to contest the charges, the employee must, within 15 days after receipt of the written notice, submit a written request for a hearing. Such hearing shall be conducted at the district school board’s election in accordance with one of the following procedures:
1. A direct hearing conducted by the district school board within 60 days after receipt of the written appeal. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of ss. 120.569 and 120.57. A majority vote of the membership of the district school board shall be required to sustain the district school superintendent’s recommendation. The determination of the district school board shall be final as to the sufficiency or insufficiency of the grounds for termination of employment; or
2. A hearing conducted by an administrative law judge assigned by the Division of Administrative Hearings of the Department of Management Services. The hearing shall be conducted within 60 days after receipt of the written appeal in accordance with chapter 120. The recommendation of the administrative law judge shall be made to the district school board. A majority vote of the membership of the district school board shall be required to sustain or change the administrative law judge’s recommendation. The determination of the district school board shall be final as to the sufficiency or insufficiency of the grounds for termination of employment.

Any such decision adverse to the employee may be appealed by the employee pursuant to s. 120.68, provided such appeal is filed within 30 days after the decision of the district school board.

(b) Any member of the district administrative or supervisory staff, including any principal but excluding an employee specified in subsection (4), may be suspended or dismissed at any time during the term of the contract; however, the charges against him or her must be based on immorality, misconduct in office, incompetency, gross insubordination, willful neglect of duty, drunkenness, or being convicted or found guilty of, or entering a plea of guilty, regardless of adjudication of guilt, any crime involving moral turpitude, as these terms are defined by rule of the State Board of Education. Whenever such charges are made against an employee of the district school board, the district school board may suspend the employee without pay; but, if the charges are not sustained, he or she shall be immediately reinstated, and his or her back salary shall be paid. In cases of suspension by the district school board or by the district school superintendent, the district school board shall determine upon the evidence submitted whether the charges have been sustained and, if the charges are sustained, shall determine either to dismiss the employee or fix the terms under which he or she may be reinstated. If such charges are sustained by a majority vote of the full membership of the district school board and the employee is discharged, his or her contract of employment shall be canceled. Any decision adverse to the employee may be appealed by him or her pursuant to s. 120.68, provided such appeal is filed within 30 days after the decision of the district school board.
(7) The district school board of any given district shall grant continuing service credit for time spent performing duties as a member of the Legislature to any district employee who possesses a professional service contract, multiyear contract, or continuing contract.
(8) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a retired member may interrupt retirement and be reemployed in any public school. A member reemployed by the same district from which he or she retired may be employed on a probationary contractual basis as provided in subsection (1).
History.s. 707, ch. 2002-387; s. 126, ch. 2003-1; s. 10, ch. 2004-295; s. 28, ch. 2008-108; s. 35, ch. 2009-59; s. 21, ch. 2009-209; s. 32, ch. 2010-154; s. 13, ch. 2011-1; s. 19, ch. 2011-37; s. 93, ch. 2014-39.
1Note.Section 17, ch. 2011-1, provides that “[c]hapter 2010-279, Laws of Florida, does not apply to any rulemaking required to administer this act.”
1012.335 Contracts with instructional personnel hired on or after July 1, 2011.
(1) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Annual contract” means an employment contract for a period of no longer than 1 school year which the district school board may choose to award or not award without cause.
(b) “Instructional personnel” means instructional personnel as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a)-(d), excluding substitute teachers.
(c) “Probationary contract” means an employment contract for a period of 1 school year awarded to instructional personnel upon initial employment in a school district. Probationary contract employees may be dismissed without cause or may resign without breach of contract. A district school board may not award a probationary contract more than once to the same employee unless the employee was rehired after a break in service for which an authorized leave of absence was not granted. A probationary contract shall be awarded regardless of previous employment in another school district or state.
(2) EMPLOYMENT.
(a) Beginning July 1, 2011, each individual newly hired as instructional personnel by the district school board shall be awarded a probationary contract. Upon successful completion of the probationary contract, the district school board may award an annual contract pursuant to paragraph (c).
(b) Beginning July 1, 2011, an annual contract may be awarded pursuant to paragraph (c) for instructional personnel who have successfully completed a probationary contract with the district school board and have received one or more annual contracts from the district school board.
(c) An annual contract may be awarded only if the employee:
11. Holds an active professional certificate or temporary certificate issued pursuant to s. 1012.56 and rules of the State Board of Education.
2. Has been recommended by the district school superintendent for the annual contract based upon the individual’s evaluation under s. 1012.34 and approved by the district school board.
3. Has not received two consecutive annual performance evaluation ratings of unsatisfactory, two annual performance evaluation ratings of unsatisfactory within a 3-year period, or three consecutive annual performance evaluation ratings of needs improvement or a combination of needs improvement and unsatisfactory under s. 1012.34.
(3) VIOLATION OF ANNUAL CONTRACT.Instructional personnel who accept a written offer from the district school board and who leave their positions without prior release from the district school board are subject to the jurisdiction of the Education Practices Commission.
(4) SUSPENSION OR DISMISSAL OF INSTRUCTIONAL PERSONNEL ON ANNUAL CONTRACT.Any instructional personnel with an annual contract may be suspended or dismissed at any time during the term of the contract for just cause as provided in subsection (5). The district school board shall notify the employee in writing whenever charges are made and may suspend such person without pay. However, if the charges are not sustained, the employee shall be immediately reinstated and his or her back pay shall be paid. If the employee wishes to contest the charges, he or she must, within 15 days after receipt of the written notice, submit a written request for a hearing to the district school board. A direct hearing shall be conducted by the district school board or a subcommittee thereof within 60 days after receipt of the written appeal. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with ss. 120.569 and 120.57. A majority vote of the membership of the district school board shall be required to sustain the district school superintendent’s recommendation. The district school board’s determination is final as to the sufficiency or insufficiency of the grounds for suspension without pay or dismissal. Any such decision adverse to the employee may be appealed by the employee pursuant to s. 120.68.
1(5) JUST CAUSE.The State Board of Education shall adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to define the term “just cause.” Just cause includes, but is not limited to:
(a) Immorality.
(b) Misconduct in office.
(c) Incompetency.
(d) Gross insubordination.
(e) Willful neglect of duty.
(f) Being convicted or found guilty of, or entering a plea of guilty to, regardless of adjudication of guilt, any crime involving moral turpitude.
(6) LIMITATION.An individual newly hired as instructional personnel by a school district in this state under this section is ineligible for any contract issued under s. 1012.33.
History.s. 5, ch. 2011-1.
1Note.Section 17, ch. 2011-1, provides that “[c]hapter 2010-279, Laws of Florida, does not apply to any rulemaking required to administer this act.”
1012.34 Personnel evaluation procedures and criteria.
(1) EVALUATION SYSTEM APPROVAL AND REPORTING.
(a) For the purpose of increasing student academic performance by improving the quality of instructional, administrative, and supervisory services in the public schools of the state, the district school superintendent shall establish procedures for evaluating the performance of duties and responsibilities of all instructional, administrative, and supervisory personnel employed by the school district. The district school superintendent shall provide instructional personnel the opportunity to review their class rosters for accuracy and to correct any mistakes. The district school superintendent shall report accurate class rosters for the purpose of calculating district and statewide student performance and annually report the evaluation results of instructional personnel and school administrators to the Department of Education in addition to the information required under subsection (5).
(b) The department must approve each school district’s instructional personnel and school administrator evaluation systems. The department shall monitor each district’s implementation of its instructional personnel and school administrator evaluation systems for compliance with the requirements of this section and s. 1012.3401.
(c) Annually, by December 1, the Commissioner of Education shall report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives the approval and implementation status of each school district’s instructional personnel and school administrator evaluation systems. The report shall include performance evaluation results for the prior school year for instructional personnel and school administrators using the four levels of performance specified in paragraph (2)(e). The performance evaluation results for instructional personnel shall be disaggregated by classroom teachers, as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a), excluding substitute teachers, and all other instructional personnel, as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(b)–(d). The commissioner shall include in the report each district’s performance-level standards established under subsection (7), a comparative analysis of the district’s student academic performance results and evaluation results, data reported under s. 1012.341, and the status of any evaluation system revisions requested by a school district pursuant to subsection (6).
(2) EVALUATION SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS.The evaluation systems for instructional personnel and school administrators must:
(a) Be designed to support effective instruction and student learning growth, and performance evaluation results must be used when developing district and school level improvement plans.
(b) Provide appropriate instruments, procedures, and criteria for continuous quality improvement of the professional skills of instructional personnel and school administrators, and performance evaluation results must be used when identifying professional development.
(c) Include a mechanism to examine performance data from multiple sources, including opportunities for parents to provide input into employee performance evaluations when appropriate.
(d) Identify those teaching fields for which special evaluation procedures and criteria are necessary.
(e) Differentiate among four levels of performance as follows:
1. Highly effective.
2. Effective.
3. Needs improvement or, for instructional personnel in the first 3 years of employment who need improvement, developing.
4. Unsatisfactory.

The Commissioner of Education shall consult with experts, instructional personnel, school administrators, and education stakeholders in developing the criteria for the performance levels.

(f) Provide for training programs that are based upon guidelines provided by the department to ensure that all individuals with evaluation responsibilities understand the proper use of the evaluation criteria and procedures.
(g) Include a process for monitoring and evaluating the effective and consistent use of the evaluation criteria by employees with evaluation responsibilities.
(h) Include a process for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the system itself in improving instruction and student learning.

In addition, each district school board may establish a peer assistance process. This process may be a part of the regular evaluation system or used to assist employees placed on performance probation, newly hired classroom teachers, or employees who request assistance.

(3) EVALUATION PROCEDURES AND CRITERIA.Instructional personnel and school administrator performance evaluations must be based upon the performance of students assigned to their classrooms or schools, as provided in this section. Pursuant to this section, a school district’s performance evaluation is not limited to basing unsatisfactory performance of instructional personnel and school administrators solely upon student performance, but may include other criteria approved to evaluate instructional personnel and school administrators’ performance, or any combination of student performance and other approved criteria. Evaluation procedures and criteria must comply with, but are not limited to, the following:
(a) A performance evaluation must be conducted for each employee at least once a year, except that a classroom teacher, as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a), excluding substitute teachers, who is newly hired by the district school board must be observed and evaluated at least twice in the first year of teaching in the school district. The performance evaluation must be based upon sound educational principles and contemporary research in effective educational practices. The evaluation criteria must include:
1. Performance of students.At least 50 percent of a performance evaluation must be based upon data and indicators of student learning growth assessed annually by statewide assessments or, for subjects and grade levels not measured by statewide assessments, by school district assessments as provided in s. 1008.22(6). Each school district must use the formula adopted pursuant to paragraph (7)(a) for measuring student learning growth in all courses associated with statewide assessments and must select an equally appropriate formula for measuring student learning growth for all other grades and subjects, except as otherwise provided in subsection (7).
a. For classroom teachers, as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a), excluding substitute teachers, the student learning growth portion of the evaluation must include growth data for students assigned to the teacher over the course of at least 3 years. If less than 3 years of data are available, the years for which data are available must be used and the percentage of the evaluation based upon student learning growth may be reduced to not less than 40 percent.
b. For instructional personnel who are not classroom teachers, the student learning growth portion of the evaluation must include growth data on statewide assessments for students assigned to the instructional personnel over the course of at least 3 years, or may include a combination of student learning growth data and other measurable student outcomes that are specific to the assigned position, provided that the student learning growth data accounts for not less than 30 percent of the evaluation. If less than 3 years of student growth data are available, the years for which data are available must be used and the percentage of the evaluation based upon student learning growth may be reduced to not less than 20 percent.
c. For school administrators, the student learning growth portion of the evaluation must include growth data for students assigned to the school over the course of at least 3 years. If less than 3 years of data are available, the years for which data are available must be used and the percentage of the evaluation based upon student learning growth may be reduced to not less than 40 percent.
2. Instructional practice.Evaluation criteria used when annually observing classroom teachers, as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a), excluding substitute teachers, must include indicators based upon each of the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices adopted by the State Board of Education. For instructional personnel who are not classroom teachers, evaluation criteria must be based upon indicators of the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices and may include specific job expectations related to student support.
3. Instructional leadership.For school administrators, evaluation criteria must include indicators based upon each of the leadership standards adopted by the State Board of Education under s. 1012.986, including performance measures related to the effectiveness of classroom teachers in the school, the administrator’s appropriate use of evaluation criteria and procedures, recruitment and retention of effective and highly effective classroom teachers, improvement in the percentage of instructional personnel evaluated at the highly effective or effective level, and other leadership practices that result in student learning growth. The system may include a means to give parents and instructional personnel an opportunity to provide input into the administrator’s performance evaluation.
4. Professional and job responsibilities.For instructional personnel and school administrators, other professional and job responsibilities must be included as adopted by the State Board of Education. The district school board may identify additional professional and job responsibilities.
(b) All personnel must be fully informed of the criteria and procedures associated with the evaluation process before the evaluation takes place.
(c) The individual responsible for supervising the employee must evaluate the employee’s performance. The evaluation system may provide for the evaluator to consider input from other personnel trained under paragraph (2)(f). The evaluator must submit a written report of the evaluation to the district school superintendent for the purpose of reviewing the employee’s contract. The evaluator must submit the written report to the employee no later than 10 days after the evaluation takes place. The evaluator must discuss the written evaluation report with the employee. The employee shall have the right to initiate a written response to the evaluation, and the response shall become a permanent attachment to his or her personnel file.
(d) The evaluator may amend an evaluation based upon assessment data from the current school year if the data becomes available within 90 days after the close of the school year. The evaluator must then comply with the procedures set forth in paragraph (c).
(4) NOTIFICATION OF UNSATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE.If an employee who holds a professional service contract as provided in s. 1012.33 is not performing his or her duties in a satisfactory manner, the evaluator shall notify the employee in writing of such determination. The notice must describe such unsatisfactory performance and include notice of the following procedural requirements:
(a) Upon delivery of a notice of unsatisfactory performance, the evaluator must confer with the employee who holds a professional service contract, make recommendations with respect to specific areas of unsatisfactory performance, and provide assistance in helping to correct deficiencies within a prescribed period of time.
(b)1. The employee who holds a professional service contract shall be placed on performance probation and governed by the provisions of this section for 90 calendar days following the receipt of the notice of unsatisfactory performance to demonstrate corrective action. School holidays and school vacation periods are not counted when calculating the 90-calendar-day period. During the 90 calendar days, the employee who holds a professional service contract must be evaluated periodically and apprised of progress achieved and must be provided assistance and inservice training opportunities to help correct the noted performance deficiencies. At any time during the 90 calendar days, the employee who holds a professional service contract may request a transfer to another appropriate position with a different supervising administrator; however, if a transfer is granted pursuant to ss. 1012.27(1) and 1012.28(6), it does not extend the period for correcting performance deficiencies.
2. Within 14 days after the close of the 90 calendar days, the evaluator must evaluate whether the performance deficiencies have been corrected and forward a recommendation to the district school superintendent. Within 14 days after receiving the evaluator’s recommendation, the district school superintendent must notify the employee who holds a professional service contract in writing whether the performance deficiencies have been satisfactorily corrected and whether the district school superintendent will recommend that the district school board continue or terminate his or her employment contract. If the employee wishes to contest the district school superintendent’s recommendation, the employee must, within 15 days after receipt of the district school superintendent’s recommendation, submit a written request for a hearing. The hearing shall be conducted at the district school board’s election in accordance with one of the following procedures:
a. A direct hearing conducted by the district school board within 60 days after receipt of the written appeal. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of ss. 120.569 and 120.57. A majority vote of the membership of the district school board shall be required to sustain the district school superintendent’s recommendation. The determination of the district school board shall be final as to the sufficiency or insufficiency of the grounds for termination of employment; or
b. A hearing conducted by an administrative law judge assigned by the Division of Administrative Hearings of the Department of Management Services. The hearing shall be conducted within 60 days after receipt of the written appeal in accordance with chapter 120. The recommendation of the administrative law judge shall be made to the district school board. A majority vote of the membership of the district school board shall be required to sustain or change the administrative law judge’s recommendation. The determination of the district school board shall be final as to the sufficiency or insufficiency of the grounds for termination of employment.
(5) ADDITIONAL NOTIFICATIONS.The district school superintendent shall annually notify the department of any instructional personnel or school administrators who receive two consecutive unsatisfactory evaluations. The district school superintendent shall also notify the department of any instructional personnel or school administrators who are given written notice by the district of intent to terminate or not renew their employment. The department shall conduct an investigation to determine whether action shall be taken against the certificateholder pursuant to s. 1012.795.
(6) ANNUAL REVIEW OF AND REVISIONS TO THE SCHOOL DISTRICT EVALUATION SYSTEMS.The district school board shall establish a procedure for annually reviewing instructional personnel and school administrator evaluation systems to determine compliance with this section and s. 1012.3401. All substantial revisions to an approved system must be reviewed and approved by the district school board before being used to evaluate instructional personnel or school administrators. Upon request by a school district, the department shall provide assistance in developing, improving, or reviewing an evaluation system.
(7) MEASUREMENT OF STUDENT LEARNING GROWTH.
1(a) The Commissioner of Education shall approve a formula to measure individual student learning growth on the statewide, standardized assessments in English Language Arts and mathematics administered under s. 1008.22. The formula must take into consideration each student’s prior academic performance. The formula must not set different expectations for student learning growth based upon a student’s gender, race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. In the development of the formula, the commissioner shall consider other factors such as a student’s attendance record, disability status, or status as an English language learner. The commissioner shall select additional formulas as appropriate for the remainder of the statewide assessments included under s. 1008.22 and continue to select formulas as new assessments are implemented in the state system. After the commissioner approves the formula to measure individual student learning growth, the State Board of Education shall adopt these formulas in rule.
(b) Each school district shall measure student learning growth using the formulas approved by the commissioner under paragraph (a) for courses associated with the statewide, standardized assessments administered under s. 1008.22 no later than the school year immediately following the year the formula is approved by the commissioner. For grades and subjects not assessed by statewide, standardized assessments but otherwise assessed as required under s. 1008.22(6), each school district shall measure performance of students using a methodology determined by the district. The department shall provide models for measuring performance of students which school districts may adopt.
(c) For a course that is not measured by a statewide, standardized assessment, a school district may request, through the evaluation system approval process, to use a student’s achievement level rather than student learning growth if achievement is demonstrated to be a more appropriate measure of classroom teacher performance. A school district may also request to use a combination of student learning growth and achievement, if appropriate.
(d) For a course that is not measured by a statewide, standardized assessment, a school district may request, through the evaluation system approval process, that the performance evaluation for the classroom teacher assigned to that course include the learning growth of his or her students on one or more statewide, standardized assessments. The request must clearly explain the rationale supporting the request.
(e) For purposes of this section and only for the 2014-2015 school year, a school district may use measurable learning targets on local assessments administered under s. 1008.22(6) to evaluate the performance of students portion of a classroom teacher’s evaluation for courses that are not assessed by statewide, standardized assessments. Learning targets must be approved by the school principal. A district school superintendent may assign to instructional personnel in an instructional team the student learning growth of the instructional team’s students on statewide assessments. This paragraph expires July 1, 2015.
1(8) RULEMAKING.The State Board of Education shall adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 which establish uniform procedures for the submission, review, and approval of district evaluation systems and reporting requirements for the annual evaluation of instructional personnel and school administrators; specific, discrete standards for each performance level required under subsection (2) to ensure clear and sufficient differentiation in the performance levels and to provide consistency in meaning across school districts; the measurement of student learning growth and associated implementation procedures required under subsection (7); and a process for monitoring school district implementation of evaluation systems in accordance with this section. Specifically, the rules shall establish student performance levels that if not met will result in the employee receiving an unsatisfactory performance evaluation rating. In like manner, the rules shall establish a student performance level that must be met in order for an employee to receive a highly effective rating and a student learning growth standard that must be met in order for an employee to receive an effective rating.
(9) TRANSITION TO NEW STATEWIDE, STANDARDIZED ASSESSMENTS.Standards for each performance level required under subsection (2) shall be established by the State Board of Education beginning with the 2015-2016 school year.
(10) DISTRICT BONUS REWARDS FOR PERFORMANCE PAY BASED ON EVALUATION PROGRESS.School districts are eligible for bonus rewards as provided for in the 2014 General Appropriations Act for making outstanding progress toward educator effectiveness, including implementation of instructional personnel salaries based on performance results under s. 1012.34 and the use of local assessment results in personnel evaluations when statewide, standardized assessments are not administered.
History.s. 708, ch. 2002-387; s. 7, ch. 2004-255; s. 11, ch. 2004-295; s. 60, ch. 2006-74; s. 29, ch. 2008-108; s. 2, ch. 2011-1; s. 13, ch. 2014-23; s. 94, ch. 2014-39.
1Note.Section 17, ch. 2011-1, provides that “[c]hapter 2010-279, Laws of Florida, does not apply to any rulemaking required to administer this act.”
1012.3401 Requirements for measuring student performance in instructional personnel and school administrator performance evaluations; performance evaluation of personnel for purposes of performance salary schedule.Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in ss. 1012.22 and 1012.34 regarding the performance salary schedule and personnel evaluation procedures and criteria:
(1) At least 50 percent of a classroom teacher’s or school administrator’s performance evaluation, or 40 percent if less than 3 years of student performance data are available, shall be based upon learning growth or achievement of the teacher’s students or, for a school administrator, the students attending that school; the remaining portion shall be based upon factors identified in district-determined, state-approved evaluation system plans. Student achievement measures for courses associated with statewide assessments may be used only if a statewide growth formula has not been approved for that assessment or, for courses associated with school district assessments, if achievement is demonstrated to be a more appropriate measure of teacher performance.
(2) The student performance data used in the performance evaluation of nonclassroom instructional personnel shall be based on student outcome data that reflects the actual contribution of such personnel to the performance of the students assigned to the individual in the individual’s areas of responsibility.
(3) For purposes of the performance salary schedule in s. 1012.22, the student assessment data in the performance evaluation must be from statewide assessments or district-determined assessments as required in s. 1008.22(6) in the subject areas taught.
History.s. 3, ch. 2013-185.
1012.341 Exemption from performance evaluation system and compensation and salary schedule requirements.
(1) Hillsborough County School District received an exemption under Florida’s Race to the Top Memorandum of Understanding for Phase 2, as provided in s. (D)(2)(ii) of the memorandum. Accordingly, notwithstanding any other provision of law, Hillsborough County School District is allowed to base 40 percent, instead of 50 percent, of instructional personnel and school administrator performance evaluations upon student performance under s. 1012.34. The school district is also exempt from the amendments to s. 1012.22(1)(c) made by chapter 2011-1, Laws of Florida. The exemptions described in this subsection are effective beginning with the 2011-2012 school year and until the expiration of this section.
(2) By October 1, 2014, and by October 1 annually thereafter, the superintendent of Hillsborough County School District shall attest, in writing, to the Commissioner of Education that:
(a) The instructional personnel and school administrator evaluation systems base at least 40 percent of an employee’s performance evaluation upon student performance and that student performance is the single greatest component of an employee’s evaluation.
(b) The instructional personnel and school administrator evaluation systems adopt the Commissioner of Education’s student learning growth formula for statewide assessments as provided under s. 1012.34(7).
(c) The school district’s instructional personnel and school administrator compensation system awards salary increases based upon sustained student performance.
(d) The school district’s contract system awards instructional personnel and school administrators based upon student performance and removes ineffective employees.
(3) Failure to comply with subsection (2) is grounds for the State Board of Education, at a public hearing, to revoke the exemption.

This section is repealed August 1, 2017, unless reviewed and reenacted by the Legislature.

History.s. 16, ch. 2011-1; s. 14, ch. 2014-23.
C. Personnel, Instructional
and Noninstructional; Authorization;
Requirements
1012.35 Substitute teachers.
1012.36 Part-time teachers.
1012.37 Education paraprofessionals.
1012.38 Education paraprofessional career development.
1012.39 Employment of substitute teachers, teachers of adult education, nondegreed teachers of career education, and career specialists; students performing clinical field experience.
1012.40 Educational support employees.
1012.42 Teacher teaching out-of-field.
1012.43 Career teachers.
1012.44 Qualifications for certain persons providing speech-language services.
1012.45 School bus drivers; requirements and duties.
1012.46 Athletic trainers.
1012.465 Background screening requirements for certain noninstructional school district employees and contractors.
1012.467 Noninstructional contractors who are permitted access to school grounds when students are present; background screening requirements.
1012.468 Exceptions to certain fingerprinting and criminal history checks.
1012.35 Substitute teachers.
(1) Each district school board shall adopt rules prescribing the compensation of, and the procedure for employment of, substitute teachers.
(a) The procedure for employment must include, but is not limited to, the filing of a complete set of fingerprints as required in s. 1012.32; documentation of a minimum education level of a high school diploma or equivalent; and completion of an initial orientation and training program in district policies and procedures addressing school safety and security procedures, educational liability laws, professional responsibilities, and ethics.
(b) Candidates who have no prior teaching experience, as determined by the employing school district, must complete an additional training program that includes classroom management skills and instructional strategies.
(c) The required training programs for substitute teachers may be provided by Florida College System institutions, colleges of education, district school boards, educational consortia, or commercial vendors.
(d) It is recommended that ongoing training and access to professional development offerings be made available to substitute teachers by the employing district.
(2) The Department of Education shall develop web-based resources to enhance district substitute orientation programs.
(3) Districts shall develop performance appraisal measures for assessing the quality of instruction delivered by substitutes who provide instruction for 30 or more days in a single classroom placement.
History.s. 710, ch. 2002-387; s. 12, ch. 2004-295; s. 183, ch. 2011-5.
1012.36 Part-time teachers.
(1) District school boards may hire certified and qualified personnel as provided in ss. 1012.39 and 1012.57 to teach a specified number of periods, which may be less than a full school day or less than a full school year.
(2) Assigned additional school duties and salaries shall be given in direct ratio to the number of periods taught. Other benefits shall be provided by district school board rule or, if applicable, pursuant to chapter 447.
History.s. 711, ch. 2002-387.
1012.37 Education paraprofessionals.A district school board may appoint education paraprofessionals to assist members of the instructional staff in carrying out their duties and responsibilities. An education paraprofessional shall not be required to hold a teaching certificate. An education paraprofessional, while rendering services under the supervision of a certified teacher, shall be accorded the same protection of laws as that accorded the certified teacher. Paid education paraprofessionals employed by a district school board shall be entitled to the same rights as those accorded noninstructional employees of the district school board.
History.s. 712, ch. 2002-387.
1012.38 Education paraprofessional career development.
(1)(a) Each school district may adopt a program for the career development of education paraprofessionals. The purpose of the program is to provide to education paraprofessionals a system of career development which is based upon education and training advancement, and to furnish economic incentives to encourage excellence among education paraprofessionals.
(b) The adoption of each program is subject to chapter 447, and the implementation of a program is contingent upon the agreement and ratification of the program by both the employer and employees under s. 447.309.
(2) A district education paraprofessional career development program must include voluntary participation by paraprofessionals in five career development levels. The district school board shall adopt a procedure for verifying the competency levels of all persons who participate in the career development program and a procedure to determine the outcomes and results of the program and impact on student performance.
(3)(a) Level I.—To qualify for Level I, the person must meet:
1. The health requirement established for certified personnel.
2. The age requirements for certified personnel.
3. The local school district requirements for employment.
(b) Level II.To qualify for Level II, the person must:
1. Have earned a high school diploma or the equivalent.
2. Possess a clear understanding of state and district rules and policies relevant to paraprofessionals.
3. Possess knowledge of all state and district instructional practices and policies relevant to paraprofessionals.
4. Have maintained satisfactory job performance of appropriate skills and competencies for 1 year.
(c) Level III.To qualify for Level III, the person must:
1. Have completed 30 college semester hours or the equivalent inservice hours.
2. Possess a clear understanding of state and district rules and policies relevant to paraprofessionals.
3. Possess knowledge of all state and district instructional practices and policies relevant to paraprofessionals.
4. Have maintained satisfactory job performance of appropriate skills and competencies for 2 years.
(d) Level IV.To qualify for Level IV, the person must:
1. Have completed 60 college semester hours or the equivalent inservice hours.
2. Possess a clear understanding of state and district rules and policies relevant to paraprofessionals.
3. Possess knowledge of all state and district instructional practices and policies relevant to paraprofessionals.
4. Have maintained satisfactory job performance of appropriate skills and competencies for 2 years.
(e) Level V.To qualify for Level V, the person must:
1. Have completed coursework to earn a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree from an accredited institution pursuant to s. 1012.56(2)(c).
2. Possess a clear understanding of state and district rules and policies relevant to paraprofessionals.
3. Possess knowledge of all state and district instructional practices and policies relevant to paraprofessionals.
4. Have maintained satisfactory job performance of appropriate skills and competencies for 2 years.
(4) Paraprofessionals may not:
(a) Establish instructional objectives;
(b) Make decisions regarding the relevancy of certain activities or procedures to the attainment of instructional objectives;
(c) Make decisions regarding the appropriateness of certain teaching materials for accomplishing instructional objectives; or
(d) Make judgments regarding the attainment of instructional objectives unless these judgments are based upon clear and objective criteria, such as specific achievement standards on a true-false test.
History.s. 713, ch. 2002-387.
1012.39 Employment of substitute teachers, teachers of adult education, nondegreed teachers of career education, and career specialists; students performing clinical field experience.
(1) Notwithstanding ss. 1012.32, 1012.55, 1012.56, and 1012.57, or any other provision of law or rule to the contrary, each district school board shall establish the minimal qualifications for:
(a) Substitute teachers to be employed pursuant to s. 1012.35. The qualifications shall require the filing of a complete set of fingerprints in the same manner as required by s. 1012.32; documentation of a minimum education level of a high school diploma or equivalent; and completion of an initial orientation and training program in district policies and procedures addressing school safety and security procedures, educational liability laws, professional responsibilities, and ethics.
(b) Part-time and full-time teachers in adult education programs. The qualifications shall require the filing of a complete set of fingerprints in the same manner as required by s. 1012.32. Faculty employed solely to conduct postsecondary instruction may be exempted from this requirement.
(c) Part-time and full-time nondegreed teachers of career programs. Qualifications shall be established for nondegreed teachers of career and technical education courses for program clusters that are recognized in the state and are based primarily on successful occupational experience rather than academic training. The qualifications for such teachers shall require:
1. The filing of a complete set of fingerprints in the same manner as required by s. 1012.32. Faculty employed solely to conduct postsecondary instruction may be exempted from this requirement.
2. Documentation of education and successful occupational experience including documentation of:
a. A high school diploma or the equivalent.
b. Completion of 6 years of full-time successful occupational experience or the equivalent of part-time experience in the teaching specialization area. The district school board may establish alternative qualifications for teachers with an industry certification in the career area in which they teach.
c. Completion of career education training conducted through the local school district inservice master plan.
d. For full-time teachers, completion of professional education training in teaching methods, course construction, lesson planning and evaluation, and teaching special needs students. This training may be completed through coursework from an accredited or approved institution or an approved district teacher education program.
e. Demonstration of successful teaching performance.
f. Documentation of industry certification when state or national industry certifications are available and applicable.
(2) Substitute, adult education, and nondegreed career education teachers who are employed pursuant to this section shall have the same rights and protection of laws as certified teachers.
(3) A student who is enrolled in a state-approved teacher preparation program in a postsecondary educational institution that is approved by rules of the State Board of Education and who is jointly assigned by the postsecondary educational institution and a district school board to perform a clinical field experience under the direction of a regularly employed and certified educator shall, while serving such supervised clinical field experience, be accorded the same protection of law as that accorded to the certified educator except for the right to bargain collectively as an employee of the district school board.
History.s. 714, ch. 2002-387; s. 13, ch. 2004-295; s. 132, ch. 2004-357; s. 34, ch. 2011-175.
1012.40 Educational support employees.
(1) As used in this section:
(a) “Educational support employee” means any person employed by a district school system who is employed as a teacher assistant, an education paraprofessional, a member of the transportation department, a member of the operations department, a member of the maintenance department, a member of food service, a secretary, or a clerical employee, or any other person who by virtue of his or her position of employment is not required to be certified by the Department of Education or district school board pursuant to s. 1012.39. This section does not apply to persons employed in confidential or management positions. This section applies to all employees who are not temporary or casual and whose duties require 20 or more hours in each normal working week.
(b) “Employee” means any person employed as an educational support employee.
(2)(a) Each educational support employee shall be employed on probationary status for a period to be determined through the appropriate collective bargaining agreement or by district school board rule in cases where a collective bargaining agreement does not exist.
(b) Upon successful completion of the probationary period by the employee, the employee’s status shall continue from year to year unless the district school superintendent terminates the employee for reasons stated in the collective bargaining agreement, or in district school board rule in cases where a collective bargaining agreement does not exist, or reduces the number of employees on a districtwide basis for financial reasons.
(c) In the event a district school superintendent seeks termination of an employee, the district school board may suspend the employee with or without pay. The employee shall receive written notice and shall have the opportunity to formally appeal the termination. The appeals process shall be determined by the appropriate collective bargaining process or by district school board rule in the event there is no collective bargaining agreement.
History.s. 715, ch. 2002-387.
1012.42 Teacher teaching out-of-field.
(1) ASSISTANCE.Each district school board shall adopt and implement a plan to assist any teacher teaching out-of-field, and priority consideration in professional development activities shall be given to a teacher who is teaching out-of-field. The district school board shall require that the teacher participate in a certification or staff development program designed to provide the teacher with the competencies required for the assigned duties. The board-approved assistance plan must include duties of administrative personnel and other instructional personnel to provide students with instructional services.
(2) NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS.When a teacher in a district school system is assigned teaching duties in a class dealing with subject matter that is outside the field in which the teacher is certified, outside the field that was the applicant’s minor field of study, or outside the field in which the applicant has demonstrated sufficient subject area expertise, as determined by district school board policy in the subject area to be taught, the parents of all students in the class shall be notified in writing of such assignment.
History.s. 717, ch. 2002-387; s. 182, ch. 2010-102.
1012.43 Career teachers.
(1) Career teachers and other teachers who qualify for certificates on the basis of nonacademic preparation shall be entitled to all the contractual rights and privileges now granted to other instructional personnel holding equivalent certificates.
(2) A holder of a certificate based on nonacademic preparation which entitled him or her to employment to teach classes in career or adult education shall not be assigned to teach in a regular academic field of the kindergarten through grade 12 school program.
History.s. 718, ch. 2002-387; s. 134, ch. 2004-357.
1012.44 Qualifications for certain persons providing speech-language services.The State Board of Education shall adopt rules for speech-language services to school districts that qualify for the sparsity supplement as described in s. 1011.62(7). These services may be provided by baccalaureate degree level persons for a period of 3 years. The rules shall authorize the delivery of speech-language services by baccalaureate degree level persons under the direction of a certified speech-language pathologist with a master’s degree or higher.
History.s. 719, ch. 2002-387; s. 14, ch. 2006-27; s. 95, ch. 2014-39.
1012.45 School bus drivers; requirements and duties.
(1) Each school bus driver must be of good moral character, of good vision and hearing, able-bodied, free from communicable disease, mentally alert, and sufficiently strong physically to handle the bus with ease, and he or she must possess other qualifications prescribed by the Commissioner of Education, including those qualifications described in 49 C.F.R. s. 391, relating to physical qualifications and examinations, and 49 C.F.R. part 40 and part 382, relating to controlled substance and alcohol use and testing, and he or she must hold a valid commercial driver license with a passenger endorsement.
(2) Each school bus driver has the authority and responsibility to control students during the time students are on the school bus pursuant to s. 1006.10.
(3) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules outlining requirements that school bus drivers must meet before they are employed by district school boards.
(4) Each district school board may provide a school bus driver training program and may make this program available to private school bus drivers by contract.
History.s. 720, ch. 2002-387.
1012.46 Athletic trainers.
(1) School districts may establish and implement an athletic injuries prevention and treatment program. Central to this program should be the employment and availability of persons trained in the prevention and treatment of physical injuries that may occur during athletic activities. The program should reflect opportunities for progressive advancement and compensation in employment as provided in subsection (2) and meet certain other minimum standards developed by the Department of Education. The goal of the Legislature is to have school districts employ and have available a full-time athletic trainer in each high school in the state.
(2) To qualify as an athletic trainer, a person must be licensed as required by part XIII of chapter 468 and may possess a professional, temporary, part-time, adjunct, or substitute certificate pursuant to s. 1012.35, s. 1012.56, or s. 1012.57.
History.s. 721, ch. 2002-387; s. 4, ch. 2006-39.
1012.465 Background screening requirements for certain noninstructional school district employees and contractors.
(1) Except as provided in s. 1012.467 or s. 1012.468, noninstructional school district employees or contractual personnel who are permitted access on school grounds when students are present, who have direct contact with students or who have access to or control of school funds must meet level 2 screening requirements as described in s. 1012.32. Contractual personnel shall include any vendor, individual, or entity under contract with a school or the school board.
(2) Every 5 years following employment or entry into a contract in a capacity described in subsection (1), each person who is so employed or under contract with the school district must meet level 2 screening requirements as described in s. 1012.32, at which time the school district shall request the Department of Law Enforcement to forward the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the level 2 screening. If, for any reason following employment or entry into a contract in a capacity described in subsection (1), the fingerprints of a person who is so employed or under contract with the school district are not retained by the Department of Law Enforcement under s. 1012.32(3)(a) and (b), the person must file a complete set of fingerprints with the district school superintendent of the employing or contracting school district. Upon submission of fingerprints for this purpose, the school district shall request the Department of Law Enforcement to forward the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the level 2 screening, and the fingerprints shall be retained by the Department of Law Enforcement under s. 1012.32(3)(a) and (b). The cost of the state and federal criminal history check required by level 2 screening may be borne by the district school board, the contractor, or the person fingerprinted. Under penalty of perjury, each person who is employed or under contract in a capacity described in subsection (1) must agree to inform his or her employer or the party with whom he or she is under contract within 48 hours if convicted of any disqualifying offense while he or she is employed or under contract in that capacity.
(3) If it is found that a person who is employed or under contract in a capacity described in subsection (1) does not meet the level 2 requirements, the person shall be immediately suspended from working in that capacity and shall remain suspended until final resolution of any appeals.
History.s. 14, ch. 2004-295; s. 21, ch. 2005-28; s. 6, ch. 2007-207.
1012.467 Noninstructional contractors who are permitted access to school grounds when students are present; background screening requirements.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Noninstructional contractor” means any vendor, individual, or entity under contract with a school or with the school board who receives remuneration for services performed for the school district or a school, but who is not otherwise considered an employee of the school district. The term also includes any employee of a contractor who performs services for the school district or school under the contract and any subcontractor and its employees.
(b) “Convicted” has the same meaning as in s. 943.0435.
(c) “School grounds” means the buildings and grounds of any public prekindergarten, kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, junior high school, high school, or secondary school, or any combination of grades prekindergarten through grade 12, together with the school district land on which the buildings are located. The term does not include:
1. Any other facility or location where school classes or activities may be located or take place;
2. The buildings and grounds of any public prekindergarten, kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, junior high school, high school, or secondary school, or any combination of grades prekindergarten through grade 12, or contiguous school district land, during any time period in which students are not permitted access; or
3. Any building described in this paragraph during any period in which it is used solely as a career or technical center under part IV of chapter 1004 for postsecondary or adult education.
(2)(a) A fingerprint-based criminal history check shall be performed on each noninstructional contractor who is permitted access to school grounds when students are present, whose performance of the contract with the school or school board is not anticipated to result in direct contact with students, and for whom any unanticipated contact would be infrequent and incidental. Criminal history checks shall be performed at least once every 5 years. For the initial criminal history check, each noninstructional contractor who is subject to the criminal history check shall file with the Department of Law Enforcement a complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized law enforcement agency or an employee of a school district, a public school, or a private company who is trained to take fingerprints. The fingerprints shall be electronically submitted for state processing to the Department of Law Enforcement, which shall in turn submit the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for national processing. The results of each criminal history check shall be reported to the school district in which the individual is seeking access and entered into the shared system described in subsection (7). The school district shall screen the results using the disqualifying offenses in paragraph (g). The cost of the criminal history check may be borne by the district school board, the school, or the contractor. A fee that is charged by a district school board for such checks may not exceed 30 percent of the total amount charged by the Department of Law Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
(b) As authorized by law, the Department of Law Enforcement shall retain the fingerprints submitted by the school districts pursuant to this subsection to the Department of Law Enforcement for a criminal history background screening in a manner provided by rule and enter the fingerprints in the statewide automated biometric identification system authorized by s. 943.05(2)(b). The fingerprints shall thereafter be available for all purposes and uses authorized for arrest fingerprints entered into the statewide automated biometric identification system under s. 943.051.
(c) As authorized by law, the Department of Law Enforcement shall search all arrest fingerprints received under s. 943.051 against the fingerprints retained in the statewide automated biometric identification system under paragraph (b).
(d) School districts may participate in the search process described in this subsection by paying an annual fee to the Department of Law Enforcement.
(e) A fingerprint retained pursuant to this subsection shall be purged from the automated biometric identification system 5 years following the date the fingerprint was initially submitted. The Department of Law Enforcement shall set the amount of the annual fee to be imposed upon each participating agency for performing these searches and establishing the procedures for retaining fingerprints and disseminating search results. The fee may be borne as provided by law. Fees may be waived or reduced by the executive director of the Department of Law Enforcement for good cause shown.
(f) A noninstructional contractor who is subject to a criminal history check under this section shall inform a school district that he or she has completed a criminal history check in another school district within the last 5 years. The school district shall verify the results of the contractor’s criminal history check using the shared system described in subsection (7). The school district may not charge the contractor a fee for verifying the results of his or her criminal history check.
(g) A noninstructional contractor for whom a criminal history check is required under this section may not have been convicted of any of the following offenses designated in the Florida Statutes, any similar offense in another jurisdiction, or any similar offense committed in this state which has been redesignated from a former provision of the Florida Statutes to one of the following offenses:
1. Any offense listed in s. 943.0435(1)(a)1., relating to the registration of an individual as a sexual offender.
2. Section 393.135, relating to sexual misconduct with certain developmentally disabled clients and the reporting of such sexual misconduct.
3. Section 394.4593, relating to sexual misconduct with certain mental health patients and the reporting of such sexual misconduct.
4. Section 775.30, relating to terrorism.
5. Section 782.04, relating to murder.
6. Section 787.01, relating to kidnapping.
7. Any offense under chapter 800, relating to lewdness and indecent exposure.
8. Section 826.04, relating to incest.
9. Section 827.03, relating to child abuse, aggravated child abuse, or neglect of a child.
(3) If it is found that a noninstructional contractor has been convicted of any of the offenses listed in paragraph (2)(g), the individual shall be immediately suspended from having access to school grounds and shall remain suspended unless and until the conviction is set aside in any postconviction proceeding.
(4) A noninstructional contractor who has been convicted of any of the offenses listed in paragraph (2)(g) may not be permitted on school grounds when students are present unless the contractor has received a full pardon or has had his or her civil rights restored. A noninstructional contractor who is present on school grounds in violation of this subsection commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(5) If a school district has reasonable cause to believe that grounds exist for the denial of a contractor’s access to school grounds when students are present, it shall notify the contractor in writing, stating the specific record that indicates noncompliance with the standards set forth in this section. It is the responsibility of the affected contractor to contest his or her denial. The only basis for contesting the denial is proof of mistaken identity or that an offense from another jurisdiction is not disqualifying under paragraph (2)(g).
(6) Each contractor who is subject to the requirements of this section shall agree to inform his or her employer or the party to whom he or she is under contract and the school district within 48 hours if he or she is arrested for any of the disqualifying offenses in paragraph (2)(g). A contractor who willfully fails to comply with this subsection commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. If the employer of a contractor or the party to whom the contractor is under contract knows the contractor has been arrested for any of the disqualifying offenses in paragraph (2)(g) and authorizes the contractor to be present on school grounds when students are present, such employer or such party commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(7)(a) The Department of Law Enforcement shall implement a system that allows for the results of a criminal history check provided to a school district to be shared with other school districts through a secure Internet website or other secure electronic means. School districts must accept reciprocity of level 2 screenings for Florida High School Athletic Association officials.
(b) An employee of a school district, a charter school, a lab school, a charter lab school, or the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind who requests or shares criminal history information under this section is immune from civil or criminal liability for any good faith conduct that occurs during the performance of and within the scope of responsibilities related to the record check.
(8)(a) The Department of Education shall create a uniform, statewide identification badge to be worn by noninstructional contractors signifying that a contractor has met the requirements of this section. The school district shall issue an identification badge to the contractor, which must bear a photograph of the contractor. An identification badge shall be issued if the contractor:
1. Is a resident and citizen of the United States or a permanent resident alien of the United States as determined by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services;
2. Is 18 years of age or older; and
3. Meets the background screening requirements under this section.
(b) The uniform, statewide identification badge shall be recognized by all school districts and must be visible at all times that a noninstructional contractor is on school grounds.
(c) The identification badge shall be valid for a period of 5 years. If a noninstructional contractor provides notification pursuant to subsection (6), the contractor shall, within 48 hours, return the identification badge to the school district that issued the badge.
(d) The Department of Education shall determine a uniform cost that a school district may charge a noninstructional contractor for receipt of the identification badge, which shall be borne by the recipient of the badge.
(e) This subsection does not apply to noninstructional contractors who are exempt from background screening requirements pursuant to s. 1012.468.
History.s. 7, ch. 2007-207; s. 33, ch. 2010-154; s. 122, ch. 2013-18; s. 1, ch. 2013-73; s. 70, ch. 2013-116.
1012.468 Exceptions to certain fingerprinting and criminal history checks.
(1) As used in this section, the term “noninstructional contractor” means any vendor, individual, or entity under contract with a school or with the school board who receives remuneration for services performed for the school district or a school, but who is not otherwise considered an employee of the school district. The term also includes any employee of a contractor who performs services for the school district or school under the contract and any subcontractor and its employees.
(2) A district school board shall exempt from the screening requirements set forth in ss. 1012.465 and 1012.467 the following noninstructional contractors:
(a)1. Noninstructional contractors who are under the direct supervision of a school district employee or contractor who has had a criminal history check and meets the screening requirements under s. 1012.32, s. 1012.465, s. 1012.467, or s. 1012.56. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “direct supervision” means that a school district employee or contractor is physically present with a noninstructional contractor when the contractor has access to a student and the access remains in the school district employee’s or the contractor’s line of sight.
2. If a noninstructional contractor who is exempt under this subsection is no longer under direct supervision as specified in subparagraph 1., the contractor may not be permitted on school grounds when students are present until the contractor meets the screening requirements in s. 1012.465 or s. 1012.467.
(b) Noninstructional contractors who are required by law to undergo a level 2 background screening pursuant to s. 435.04 for licensure, certification, employment, or other purposes and who submit evidence of meeting the following criteria:
1. The contractor meets the screening standards in s. 435.04;
2. The contractor’s license or certificate is active and in good standing, if the contractor is a licensee or certificateholder; and
3. The contractor completed the criminal history check within 5 years prior to seeking access to school grounds when students are present.
(c) A law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10, who is assigned or dispatched to school grounds by his or her employer.
(d) An employee or medical director of an ambulance provider, licensed pursuant to chapter 401, who is providing services within the scope of part III of chapter 401 on behalf of such ambulance provider.
(e) Noninstructional contractors who remain at a site where students are not permitted if the site is separated from the remainder of the school grounds by a single chain-link fence of 6 feet in height.
(f) A noninstructional contractor who provides pickup or delivery services and those services involve brief visits on school grounds when students are present.
(g) An investigator for the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) who meets the requirements under s. 1006.20(2)(e).
(3)(a) A noninstructional contractor who is exempt under this section from the screening requirements set forth in s. 1012.465 or s. 1012.467 is subject to a search of his or her name or other identifying information against the registration information regarding sexual predators and sexual offenders maintained by the Department of Law Enforcement under s. 943.043 and the National Sex Offender Public Registry maintained by the United States Department of Justice. The school district shall conduct the search required under this subsection without charge or fee to the contractor.
(b) A noninstructional contractor who is identified as a sexual predator or sexual offender in the registry search required in paragraph (a) may not be permitted on school grounds when students are present. Upon determining that a noninstructional contractor may not be permitted on school grounds pursuant to this subsection, the school district shall notify the vendor, individual, or entity under contract within 3 business days.
(4) A school district may not subject a contractor who meets the requirements in subsection (2) to an additional criminal history check. Upon submission of evidence and verification by the school district, the school district must accept the results of the criminal history check for the contractor.
(5) This section and ss. 1012.465 and 1012.467 do not create or imply any private cause of action for a violation of these sections and do not create any new duty of care or basis of liability.
History.s. 8, ch. 2007-207; s. 3, ch. 2012-188.
D. Educator Certification
for Public Schools; Renewal; Duties
1012.51 Legislative intent; declaration.
1012.53 Duties of instructional personnel.
1012.54 Purpose of instructional personnel certification.
1012.55 Positions for which certificates required.
1012.56 Educator certification requirements.
1012.561 Address of record.
1012.565 Educator certification for blind and visually impaired students.
1012.57 Certification of adjunct educators.
1012.575 Alternative preparation programs for certified teachers to add additional coverage.
1012.582 Continuing education and inservice training for teaching students with developmental disabilities.
1012.585 Process for renewal of professional certificates.
1012.586 Additions or changes to certificates; duplicate certificates.
1012.59 Certification fees.
1012.51 Legislative intent; declaration.It is the intent and purpose of the Legislature that the practice of teaching in the public school system and its related services, including administering and supervisory services, shall be designated as professional services. Teaching is hereby declared to be a profession in Florida, with similar rights, responsibilities, and privileges accorded other legally recognized professions.
History.s. 723, ch. 2002-387.
1012.53 Duties of instructional personnel.
(1) The primary duty of instructional personnel is to work diligently and faithfully to help students meet or exceed annual learning goals, to meet state and local achievement requirements, and to master the skills required to graduate from high school prepared for postsecondary education and work. This duty applies to instructional personnel whether they teach or function in a support role.
(2) Members of the instructional staff of the public schools shall perform duties prescribed by rules of the district school board. The rules shall include, but are not limited to, rules relating to a teacher’s duty to help students master challenging standards and meet all state and local requirements for achievement; teaching efficiently and faithfully, using prescribed materials and methods, including technology-based instruction; recordkeeping; and fulfilling the terms of any contract, unless released from the contract by the district school board.
History.s. 725, ch. 2002-387.
1012.54 Purpose of instructional personnel certification.It is the intent of the Legislature that school personnel certified in this state possess the credentials, knowledge, and skills necessary to allow the opportunity for a high-quality education in the public schools. The purpose of school personnel certification is to protect the educational interests of students, parents, and the public at large by assuring that teachers in this state are professionally qualified. In fulfillment of its duty to the citizens of this state, the Legislature has established certification requirements to assure that educational personnel in public schools possess appropriate skills in reading, writing, and mathematics, and adequate pedagogical knowledge, including the use of technology to enhance student learning, and relevant subject matter competence so as to demonstrate an acceptable level of professional performance. Further, the Legislature has established a certificate renewal process which promotes the continuing professional improvement of school personnel, thereby enhancing public education in all areas of the state.
History.s. 726, ch. 2002-387.
1012.55 Positions for which certificates required.
(1)(a) The State Board of Education shall classify school services, designate the certification subject areas, establish competencies, including the use of technology to enhance student learning, and certification requirements for all school-based personnel, and adopt rules in accordance with which the professional, temporary, and part-time certificates shall be issued by the Department of Education to applicants who meet the standards prescribed by such rules for their class of service.
(b) Each person employed or occupying a position as school supervisor, school principal, teacher, library media specialist, school counselor, athletic coach, or other position in which the employee serves in an instructional capacity, in any public school of any district of this state shall hold the certificate required by law and by rules of the State Board of Education in fulfilling the requirements of the law for the type of service rendered. Such positions include personnel providing direct instruction to students through a virtual environment or through a blended virtual and physical environment.
(c) The Department of Education shall identify appropriate educator certification for the instruction of specified courses in an annual publication of a directory of course code numbers for all programs and courses that are funded through the Florida Education Finance Program. However, the state board shall adopt rules authorizing district school boards to employ selected noncertificated personnel to provide instructional services in the individuals’ fields of specialty or to assist instructional staff members as education paraprofessionals.
(d) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to allow an individual who meets the following criteria to be eligible for a temporary certificate in educational leadership under s. 1012.56(7):
1. Earning a passing score on the Florida Educational Leadership Examination;
2. Documenting 3 years of successful experience in an executive management or leadership position; and
3. Documenting receipt of a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institution of higher learning.

A person operating under a temporary certificate must be under the mentorship of a state-certified school administrator during the term of the temporary certificate.

(2)(a) Each person who is employed and renders service as an athletic coach in any public school in any district of this state shall hold a valid temporary or professional certificate or an athletic coaching certificate. The athletic coaching certificate may be used for either part-time or full-time positions. The provisions of this subsection do not apply to any athletic coach who voluntarily renders service and who is not employed by any public school district of this state.
(b) Completion of a sports safety course shall count for 6 hours of required school district inservice instruction for athletic coaching certification if the course is approved by the Florida High School Athletic Association Board of Directors and meets the following requirements:
1. The course consists of at least eight modules.
2. The course immediately provides an individual with a “merit” certificate at the time of successful completion.
3. The course is delivered through hands-on and online teaching methods.
4. The course is a hands-on course taught by either a state-licensed athletic trainer who holds a current certificate from the Board of Certification or a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
5. Hands-on course material is less than 120 pages.
6. The course covers sports safety specifically, excluding coaching principles and procedures for cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
7. The course is authored or approved by at least 10 health care professionals, including doctors of medicine, doctors of osteopathy, registered nurses, physical therapists, and certified athletic trainers.
8. The course is revised and reviewed for updates at least once every 30 months.
9. The course is available to the general public for a retail price under $50.
10. Each course examination is automated and taken online with a score of 80 percent or better for successful completion.
(3) Each person employed as a school nurse shall hold a license to practice nursing in the state, and each person employed as a school physician shall hold a license to practice medicine in the state.
(4) A commissioned or noncommissioned military officer who is an instructor of junior reserve officer training shall be exempt from requirements for teacher certification, except for the background screening pursuant to s. 1012.32, if he or she meets the following qualifications:
(a) Is retired from active military duty, pursuant to chapter 102 of Title 10 U.S.C.
(b) Satisfies criteria established by the appropriate military service for certification by the service as a junior reserve officer training instructor.
(c) Has an exemplary military record.

If such instructor is assigned instructional duties other than junior reserve officer training, he or she shall hold the certificate required by law and rules of the state board for the type of service rendered.

History.s. 727, ch. 2002-387; s. 15, ch. 2004-295; s. 1, ch. 2009-88; s. 34, ch. 2010-154; s. 7, ch. 2013-185.
1012.56 Educator certification requirements.
(1) APPLICATION.Each person seeking certification pursuant to this chapter shall submit a completed application containing the applicant’s social security number to the Department of Education and remit the fee required pursuant to s. 1012.59 and rules of the State Board of Education. Pursuant to the federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, each party is required to provide his or her social security number in accordance with this section. Disclosure of social security numbers obtained through this requirement is limited to the purpose of administration of the Title IV-D program of the Social Security Act for child support enforcement. Pursuant to s. 120.60, the department shall issue within 90 calendar days after the stamped receipted date of the completed application:
(a) If the applicant meets the requirements, a professional certificate covering the classification, level, and area for which the applicant is deemed qualified and a document explaining the requirements for renewal of the professional certificate;
(b) If the applicant meets the requirements and if requested by an employing school district or an employing private school with a professional education competence demonstration program pursuant to paragraphs (6)(f) and (8)(b), a temporary certificate covering the classification, level, and area for which the applicant is deemed qualified and an official statement of status of eligibility; or
(c) If an applicant does not meet the requirements for either certificate, an official statement of status of eligibility.

The statement of status of eligibility must advise the applicant of any qualifications that must be completed to qualify for certification. Each statement of status of eligibility is valid for 3 years after its date of issuance, except as provided in paragraph (2)(d).

(2) ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA.To be eligible to seek certification, a person must:
(a) Be at least 18 years of age.
(b) File an affidavit that the applicant subscribes to and will uphold the principles incorporated in the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Florida and that the information provided in the application is true, accurate, and complete. The affidavit shall be by original signature or by electronic authentication. The affidavit shall include substantially the following warning:

WARNING: Giving false information in order to obtain or renew a Florida educator’s certificate is a criminal offense under Florida law. Anyone giving false information on this affidavit is subject to criminal prosecution as well as disciplinary action by the Education Practices Commission.

(c) Document receipt of a bachelor’s or higher degree from an accredited institution of higher learning, or a nonaccredited institution of higher learning that the Department of Education has identified as having a quality program resulting in a bachelor’s degree, or higher. Each applicant seeking initial certification must have attained at least a 2.5 overall grade point average on a 4.0 scale in the applicant’s major field of study. The applicant may document the required education by submitting official transcripts from institutions of higher education or by authorizing the direct submission of such official transcripts through established electronic network systems. The bachelor’s or higher degree may not be required in areas approved in rule by the State Board of Education as nondegreed areas. The State Board of Education may adopt rules that, for purposes of demonstrating completion of specific certification requirements, allow for the acceptance of college course credits recommended by the American Council for Education (ACE), as posted on an official ACE transcript.
(d) Submit to background screening in accordance with subsection (10). If the background screening indicates a criminal history or if the applicant acknowledges a criminal history, the applicant’s records shall be referred to the investigative section in the Department of Education for review and determination of eligibility for certification. If the applicant fails to provide the necessary documentation requested by the department within 90 days after the date of the receipt of the certified mail request, the statement of eligibility and pending application shall become invalid.
(e) Be of good moral character.
(f) Be competent and capable of performing the duties, functions, and responsibilities of an educator.
(g) Demonstrate mastery of general knowledge, pursuant to subsection (3).
(h) Demonstrate mastery of subject area knowledge, pursuant to subsection (5).
(i) Demonstrate mastery of professional preparation and education competence, pursuant to subsection (6).
(3) MASTERY OF GENERAL KNOWLEDGE.Acceptable means of demonstrating mastery of general knowledge are:
(a) Achievement of passing scores on the general knowledge examination required by state board rule;
(b) Documentation of a valid professional standard teaching certificate issued by another state;
(c) Documentation of a valid certificate issued by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards or a national educator credentialing board approved by the State Board of Education;
(d) Documentation of two semesters of successful, full-time or part-time teaching in a Florida College System institution, state university, or private college or university that awards an associate or higher degree and is an accredited institution or an institution of higher education identified by the Department of Education as having a quality program; or
(e) Effective July 1, 2015, achievement of passing scores, identified in state board rule, on national or international examinations that test comparable content and relevant standards in verbal, analytical writing, and quantitative reasoning skills, including, but not limited to, the verbal, analytical writing, and quantitative reasoning portions of the Graduate Record Examination. Passing scores identified in state board rule must be at approximately the same level of rigor as is required to pass the general knowledge examinations.
(4) ALIGNMENT OF SUBJECT AREAS.The State Board of Education shall align the subject area examinations to the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.
(5) MASTERY OF SUBJECT AREA KNOWLEDGE.Acceptable means of demonstrating mastery of subject area knowledge are:
(a) For a subject requiring only a baccalaureate degree for which a Florida subject area examination has been developed, achievement of a passing score on the Florida-developed subject area examination specified in state board rule;
(b) For a subject for which a Florida subject area examination has not been developed, achievement of a passing score on a standardized examination specified in state board rule, including, but not limited to, passing scores on both the oral proficiency and written proficiency examinations administered by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages;
(c) For a subject for which a Florida subject area examination has not been developed or a standardized examination has not been specified in state board rule, completion of the subject area specialization requirements specified in state board rule and verification of the attainment of the essential subject matter competencies by the district school superintendent of the employing school district or chief administrative officer of the employing state-supported or private school;
(d) For a subject requiring a master’s or higher degree, completion of the subject area specialization requirements specified in state board rule and achievement of a passing score on the Florida-developed subject area examination or a standardized examination specified in state board rule;
(e) Documentation of a valid professional standard teaching certificate issued by another state; or
(f) Documentation of a valid certificate issued by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards or a national educator credentialing board approved by the State Board of Education.

School districts are encouraged to provide mechanisms for middle grades teachers holding only a K-6 teaching certificate to obtain a subject area coverage for middle grades through postsecondary coursework or district add-on certification.

(6) MASTERY OF PROFESSIONAL PREPARATION AND EDUCATION COMPETENCE.Acceptable means of demonstrating mastery of professional preparation and education competence are:
(a) Successful completion of an approved teacher preparation program at a postsecondary educational institution within this state and achievement of a passing score on the professional education competency examination required by state board rule;
(b) Successful completion of a teacher preparation program at a postsecondary educational institution outside Florida and achievement of a passing score on the professional education competency examination required by state board rule;
(c) Documentation of a valid professional standard teaching certificate issued by another state;
(d) Documentation of a valid certificate issued by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards or a national educator credentialing board approved by the State Board of Education;
(e) Documentation of two semesters of successful, full-time or part-time teaching in a Florida College System institution, state university, or private college or university that awards an associate or higher degree and is an accredited institution or an institution of higher education identified by the Department of Education as having a quality program and achievement of a passing score on the professional education competency examination required by state board rule;
(f) Successful completion of professional preparation courses as specified in state board rule, successful completion of a professional preparation and education competence program pursuant to paragraph (8)(b), and achievement of a passing score on the professional education competency examination required by state board rule;
(g) Successful completion of a professional development certification and education competency program, outlined in paragraph (8)(a); or
(h) Successful completion of a competency-based certification program pursuant to s. 1004.85 and achievement of a passing score on the professional education competency examination required by rule of the State Board of Education.

The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to implement this subsection by December 31, 2014, including rules to approve specific teacher preparation programs that are not identified in this subsection which may be used to meet requirements for mastery of professional preparation and education competence.

(7) TYPES AND TERMS OF CERTIFICATION.
(a) The Department of Education shall issue a professional certificate for a period not to exceed 5 years to any applicant who meets all the requirements outlined in subsection (2).
(b) The department shall issue a temporary certificate to any applicant who completes the requirements outlined in paragraphs (2)(a)-(f) and completes the subject area content requirements specified in state board rule or demonstrates mastery of subject area knowledge pursuant to subsection (5) and holds an accredited degree or a degree approved by the Department of Education at the level required for the subject area specialization in state board rule.
(c) The department shall issue one nonrenewable 2-year temporary certificate and one nonrenewable 5-year professional certificate to a qualified applicant who holds a bachelor’s degree in the area of speech-language impairment to allow for completion of a master’s degree program in speech-language impairment.

Each temporary certificate is valid for 3 school fiscal years and is nonrenewable. However, the requirement in paragraph (2)(g) must be met within 1 calendar year of the date of employment under the temporary certificate. Individuals who are employed under contract at the end of the 1 calendar year time period may continue to be employed through the end of the school year in which they have been contracted. A school district shall not employ, or continue the employment of, an individual in a position for which a temporary certificate is required beyond this time period if the individual has not met the requirement of paragraph (2)(g). The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to allow the department to extend the validity period of a temporary certificate for 2 years when the requirements for the professional certificate, not including the requirement in paragraph (2)(g), were not completed due to the serious illness or injury of the applicant or other extraordinary extenuating circumstances. The department shall reissue the temporary certificate for 2 additional years upon approval by the Commissioner of Education. A written request for reissuance of the certificate shall be submitted by the district school superintendent, the governing authority of a university lab school, the governing authority of a state-supported school, or the governing authority of a private school.

(8) PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT CERTIFICATION AND EDUCATION COMPETENCY PROGRAM.
(a) The Department of Education shall develop and each school district may provide a cohesive competency-based professional development certification and education competency program by which members of a school district’s instructional staff may satisfy the mastery of professional preparation and education competence requirements specified in subsection (6) and rules of the State Board of Education. Participants must hold a state-issued temporary certificate. A school district that implements the program shall provide a competency-based certification program developed by the Department of Education or developed by the district and approved by the Department of Education. The program shall include the following:
1. A minimum period of initial preparation before assuming duties as the teacher of record.
2. An option for collaboration between school districts and other supporting agencies or educational entities for implementation.
3. An experienced peer-mentor component. Each individual selected by the district as a peer mentor must hold a valid professional certificate issued pursuant to this section, must have earned at least 3 years of teaching experience in prekindergarten through grade 12, and must have earned an effective or highly effective rating on the prior year’s performance evaluation under s. 1012.34 or be a peer evaluator under the district’s evaluation system approved under s. 1012.34.
4. An assessment of teaching performance aligned to the district’s system for personnel evaluation under s. 1012.34 which provides for:
a. An initial evaluation of each educator’s competencies to determine an appropriate individualized professional development plan.
b. A summative evaluation to assure successful completion of the program.
5. Professional education preparation content knowledge that includes, but is not limited to, the following:
a. The state standards provided under s. 1003.41, including scientifically based reading instruction, content literacy, and mathematical practices, for each subject identified on the temporary certificate.
b. The educator-accomplished practices approved by the state board.
c. A variety of data indicators for monitoring student progress.
d. Methodologies for teaching students with disabilities.
e. Methodologies for teaching students of limited English proficiency appropriate for each subject area identified on the temporary certificate.
f. Techniques and strategies for operationalizing the role of the teacher in assuring a safe learning environment for students.
6. Required achievement of passing scores on the subject area and professional education competency examination required by State Board of Education rule. Mastery of general knowledge must be demonstrated as described in subsection (3).
(b)1. Each school district must and a state supported public school or a private school may develop and maintain a system by which members of the instructional staff may demonstrate mastery of professional preparation and education competence as required by law. Each program must be based on classroom application of the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices and instructional performance and, for public schools, must be aligned with the district’s evaluation system approved under s. 1012.34.
2. The Commissioner of Education shall determine the continued approval of programs implemented under this paragraph, based upon the department’s review of performance data. The department shall review the performance data as a part of the periodic review of each school district’s professional development system required under s. 1012.98.
(c) The Commissioner of Education shall determine the continued approval of programs implemented under paragraph (a) based upon the department’s periodic review of the following:
1. Evidence that the requirements in paragraph (a) are consistently met; and
2. Evidence of performance in each of the following areas:
a. Rate of retention for employed program completers in instructional positions in Florida public schools.
b. Performance of students in prekindergarten through grade 12 who are assigned to in-field program completers on statewide assessments using the results of the student learning growth formula adopted under s. 1012.34.
c. Performance of students in prekindergarten through grade 12 who are assigned to in-field program completers aggregated by student subgroups, as defined in the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), 20 U.S.C. s. 6311(b)(2)(C)(v)(II), as a measure of how well the program prepares teachers to work with a variety of students in Florida public schools.
d. Results of program completers’ annual evaluations in accordance with the timeline as set forth in s. 1012.34.
e. Production of program completers in statewide critical teacher shortage areas as defined in s. 1012.07.
(9) EXAMINATIONS.
(a) The Commissioner of Education, with the approval of the State Board of Education, may contract for developing, printing, administering, scoring, and appropriate analysis of the written examinations required.
(b) The State Board of Education shall, by rule, specify the examination scores that are required for the issuance of a professional certificate and temporary certificate. Such rules must define generic subject area competencies and must establish uniform evaluation guidelines.
(c) The State Board of Education shall designate the certification areas for subject area examinations. All required examinations may be taken prior to graduation.
(d) The department shall provide procedures for an applicant who fails an examination developed by the department or by an entity under contract with the department to review his or her examination questions and his or her incorrectly answered responses to the questions. The applicant bears the actual cost for the department to provide an examination review pursuant to this subsection. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, only an applicant who fails an examination within a score range established by rule of the State Board of Education is entitled to an examination review under this paragraph or to challenge the validity of the examination.
(e) For any examination developed by this state, the Department of Education and the State Board of Education shall maintain confidentiality of the examination, developmental materials, and workpapers, which are exempt from s. 119.07(1).
(f) The examinations used for demonstration of mastery of general knowledge, professional education competence, and subject area knowledge shall be aligned with student standards approved by the state board. The delivery system for these examinations shall provide for overall efficiency, user-friendly application, reasonable accessibility to prospective teachers, and prompt attainment of examination results. The examination of competency for demonstration of subject area knowledge shall be sufficiently comprehensive to assess subject matter expertise for individuals who have acquired subject knowledge either through college credit or by other means.
(g) All examination instruments, including developmental materials and workpapers directly related thereto, which are prepared, prescribed, or administered pursuant to this section shall be confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and from s. 1001.52. Provisions governing access to, maintenance of, and destruction of such instruments and related materials shall be prescribed by rules of the State Board of Education.
(10) BACKGROUND SCREENING REQUIRED, INITIALLY AND PERIODICALLY.
(a) Each person who seeks certification under this chapter must be fingerprinted and screened in accordance with s. 1012.32 and must not be ineligible for such certification under s. 1012.315. A person who has been screened in accordance with s. 1012.32 by a district school board or the Department of Education within 12 months before the date the person initially obtains certification under this chapter, the results of which are submitted to the district school board or to the Department of Education, is not required to repeat the screening under this paragraph.
(b) A person may not receive a certificate under this chapter until the person’s screening under s. 1012.32 is completed and the results have been submitted to the Department of Education or to the district school superintendent of the school district that employs the person. Every 5 years after obtaining initial certification, each person who is required to be certified under this chapter must be rescreened in accordance with s. 1012.32, at which time the school district shall request the Department of Law Enforcement to forward the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for federal criminal records checks. If, for any reason after obtaining initial certification, the fingerprints of a person who is required to be certified under this chapter are not retained by the Department of Law Enforcement under s. 1012.32(3)(a) and (b), the person must file a complete set of fingerprints with the district school superintendent of the employing school district. Upon submission of fingerprints for this purpose, the school district shall request the Department of Law Enforcement to forward the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for federal criminal records checks, and the fingerprints shall be retained by the Department of Law Enforcement under s. 1012.32(3)(a) and (b). The cost of the state and federal criminal history checks required by paragraph (a) and this paragraph may be borne by the district school board or the employee. Under penalty of perjury, each person who is certified under this chapter must agree to inform his or her employer within 48 hours if convicted of any disqualifying offense while he or she is employed in a position for which such certification is required.
(c) If it is found under s. 1012.796 that a person who is employed in a position requiring certification under this chapter has not been screened in accordance with s. 1012.32, or is ineligible for such certification under s. 1012.315, the person’s certification shall be immediately revoked or suspended and he or she shall be immediately suspended from the position requiring certification.
(11) NONCITIZENS.
(a) The State Board of Education may adopt rules for issuing certificates to noncitizens who are needed to teach and who are legally admitted to the United States through the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. The filing of a written oath to uphold the principles of the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Florida, required under paragraph (2)(b), does not apply to individuals assigned to teach on an exchange basis.
(b) A certificate may not be issued to a citizen of a nation controlled by forces that are antagonistic to democratic forms of government, except to an individual who has been legally admitted to the United States through the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.
(12) DENIAL OF CERTIFICATE.
(a) The Department of Education may deny an applicant a certificate if the department possesses evidence satisfactory to it that the applicant has committed an act or acts, or that a situation exists, for which the Education Practices Commission would be authorized to revoke a teaching certificate.
(b) The decision of the department is subject to review by the Education Practices Commission upon the filing of a written request from the applicant within 20 days after receipt of the notice of denial.
(13) STATE BOARD RULES.The State Board of Education shall adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536 and 120.54, as necessary to implement this section.
(14) PRIOR APPLICATION.Persons who apply for certification are governed by the law and rules in effect at the time of application for issuance of the initial certificate, provided that continuity of certificates is maintained.
(15) PERSONNEL RECORDS.The Department of Education shall maintain an electronic database that includes, but need not be limited to, the academic preparation, professional training, and teaching experience of each person to whom a certificate is issued. The applicant or the district school superintendent shall furnish the information using a format provided by the department.
(16) AUTHORITY OF COMMISSIONER.The Commissioner of Education may make decisions regarding an applicant’s certification under extenuating circumstances not otherwise provided for in statute or by rule. However, an applicant for certification approved by the commissioner must possess the credentials, knowledge, and skills necessary to provide quality education in the public schools.
History.s. 728, ch. 2002-387; s. 43, ch. 2003-391; s. 170, ch. 2004-5; s. 16, ch. 2004-295; s. 61, ch. 2006-74; s. 30, ch. 2008-108; s. 25, ch. 2008-235; s. 104, ch. 2009-21; s. 184, ch. 2011-5; s. 41, ch. 2013-27; s. 8, ch. 2013-185; ss. 3, 4, ch. 2014-32.
1012.561 Address of record.Each certified educator or applicant for certification is solely responsible for maintaining his or her current address with the Department of Education and for notifying the department in writing of a change of address. A certified educator or applicant for certification who is employed by a district school board shall notify his or her employing school district within 10 days after a change of address. At a minimum, the employing district school board shall notify the department monthly of the addresses of the certified educators or applicants for certification in the manner prescribed by the department. A certified educator or applicant for certification who is not employed by a district school board shall personally notify the department in writing within 30 days after a change of address. The department shall permit electronic notification; however, it is the responsibility of the certified educator or applicant for certification to ensure that the department has received the electronic notification.
History.s. 17, ch. 2004-295; s. 96, ch. 2014-39.
1012.565 Educator certification for blind and visually impaired students.As a part of the certification process, teachers certified in the education of blind and visually impaired students shall be required to demonstrate competence in reading, writing, and teaching braille pursuant to standards adopted by the Department of Education, comparable to the braille reading and writing standards adopted by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. The department shall ensure that teachers of students with visual impairments have access to inservice instruction for the purpose of updating their braille skill competence.
History.s. 729, ch. 2002-387.
1012.57 Certification of adjunct educators.
(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of ss. 1012.32, 1012.55, and 1012.56, or any other provision of law or rule to the contrary, district school boards shall adopt rules to allow for the issuance of an adjunct teaching certificate to any applicant who fulfills the requirements of s. 1012.56(2)(a)-(f) and (10) and who has expertise in the subject area to be taught. An applicant shall be considered to have expertise in the subject area to be taught if the applicant demonstrates sufficient subject area mastery through passage of a subject area test. The adjunct teaching certificate shall be used for part-time teaching positions.
(2) The Legislature intends that this section allow school districts to tap the wealth of talent and expertise represented in Florida’s citizens who may wish to teach part-time in a Florida public school by permitting school districts to issue adjunct certificates to qualified applicants.
(3) Adjunct certificateholders should be used as a strategy to enhance the diversity of course offerings offered to all students. School districts may use the expertise of individuals in the state who wish to provide online instruction to students by issuing adjunct certificates to qualified applicants.
(4) Each adjunct teaching certificate is valid through the term of the annual contract between the educator and the school district. An additional annual certification and an additional annual contract may be awarded by the district at the district’s discretion but only if the applicant is rated effective or highly effective under s. 1012.34 during each year of teaching under adjunct teaching certification.
(5) Individuals who are certified and employed under this section shall have the same rights and protection of laws as teachers certified under s. 1012.56.
History.s. 730, ch. 2002-387; s. 44, ch. 2003-391; s. 18, ch. 2004-295; s. 26, ch. 2008-235; s. 10, ch. 2011-137.
1012.575 Alternative preparation programs for certified teachers to add additional coverage.A district school board may design alternative teacher preparation programs to enable persons already certificated to add an additional coverage to their certificates. Each alternative teacher preparation program shall be reviewed and approved by the Department of Education to assure that persons who complete the program are competent in the necessary areas of subject matter specialization. Two or more school districts may jointly participate in an alternative preparation program for teachers.
History.s. 731, ch. 2002-387.
1012.582 Continuing education and inservice training for teaching students with developmental disabilities.
(1) The Commissioner of Education shall develop recommendations to incorporate instruction regarding autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, and other developmental disabilities into continuing education or inservice training requirements for instructional personnel. These recommendations shall address:
(a) Early identification of, and intervention for, students who have autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, or other developmental disabilities.
(b) Curriculum planning and curricular and instructional modifications, adaptations, and specialized strategies and techniques.
(c) The use of available state and local resources.
(d) The use of positive behavioral supports to deescalate problem behaviors.
(e) Appropriate use of manual physical restraint and seclusion techniques.
(2) In developing the recommendations, the commissioner shall consult with the State Surgeon General, the Director of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, representatives from the education community in the state, and representatives from entities that promote awareness about autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, and other developmental disabilities and provide programs and services to persons with developmental disabilities, including, but not limited to, regional autism centers pursuant to s. 1004.55.
(3) Beginning with the 2010-2011 school year, the Department of Education shall incorporate the course curricula recommended by the Commissioner of Education, pursuant to subsection (1), into existing requirements for the continuing education or inservice training of instructional personnel. The requirements of this section may not add to the total hours required for continuing education or inservice training as currently established by the department.
(4) The State Board of Education may adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement this section.
History.s. 6, ch. 2010-224.
1012.585 Process for renewal of professional certificates.
(1)(a) District school boards shall renew state-issued professional certificates as follows:
1. Each district school board shall renew state-issued professional certificates for individuals who hold a state-issued professional certificate and are employed by that district pursuant to criteria established in subsections (2), (3), and (4) and rules of the State Board of Education.
2. The employing school district may charge the individual an application fee not to exceed the amount charged by the Department of Education for such services, including associated late renewal fees. Each district school board shall transmit monthly to the department a fee in an amount established by the State Board of Education for each renewed certificate. The fee shall not exceed the actual cost for maintenance and operation of the statewide certification database and for the actual costs incurred in printing and mailing such renewed certificates. As defined in current rules of the state board, the department shall contribute a portion of such fee for purposes of funding the Educator Recovery Network established in s. 1012.798. The department shall deposit all funds into the Educational Certification and Service Trust Fund for use as specified in s. 1012.59.
(b) The department shall renew state-issued professional certificates for individuals who are not employed by a district school board of this state pursuant to criteria established in subsections (2), (3), and (4) and requirements specified in rules of the state board.
(2)(a) All professional certificates, except a nonrenewable professional certificate, shall be renewable for successive periods not to exceed 5 years after the date of submission of documentation of completion of the requirements for renewal provided in subsection (3). Only one renewal may be granted during each 5-year validity period of a professional certificate.
(b) A teacher with national certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is deemed to meet state renewal requirements for the life of the teacher’s national certificate in the subject shown on the national certificate. A complete renewal application and fee shall be submitted. The Commissioner of Education shall notify teachers of the renewal application and fee requirements.
(c) If the renewal application form is not received by the department or by the employing school district before the expiration of the professional certificate, the application form, application fee, and a late fee must be submitted before July 1 of the year following expiration of the certificate in order to renew the professional certificate.
(d) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to allow a 1-year extension of the validity period of a professional certificate in the event of serious illness, injury, or other extraordinary extenuating circumstances of the applicant. The department shall grant such 1-year extension upon written request by the applicant or by the district school superintendent or the governing authority of a university lab school, state-supported school, or private school that employs the applicant.
(3) For the renewal of a professional certificate, the following requirements must be met:
(a) The applicant must earn a minimum of 6 college credits or 120 inservice points or a combination thereof. For each area of specialization to be retained on a certificate, the applicant must earn at least 3 of the required credit hours or equivalent inservice points in the specialization area. Education in “clinical educator” training pursuant to s. 1004.04(5)(b) and credits or points that provide training in the area of scientifically researched, knowledge-based reading literacy and computational skills acquisition, exceptional student education, normal child development, and the disorders of development may be applied toward any specialization area. Credits or points that provide training in the areas of drug abuse, child abuse and neglect, strategies in teaching students having limited proficiency in English, or dropout prevention, or training in areas identified in the educational goals and performance standards adopted pursuant to ss. 1000.03(5) and 1008.345 may be applied toward any specialization area. Credits or points earned through approved summer institutes may be applied toward the fulfillment of these requirements. Inservice points may also be earned by participation in professional growth components approved by the State Board of Education and specified pursuant to s. 1012.98 in the district’s approved master plan for inservice educational training, including, but not limited to, serving as a trainer in an approved teacher training activity, serving on an instructional materials committee or a state board or commission that deals with educational issues, or serving on an advisory council created pursuant to s. 1001.452.
(b) In lieu of college course credit or inservice points, the applicant may renew a subject area specialization by passage of a state board approved Florida-developed subject area examination or, if a Florida subject area examination has not been developed, a standardized examination specified in state board rule.
(c) If an applicant wishes to retain more than two specialization areas on the certificate, the applicant shall be permitted two successive validity periods for renewal of all specialization areas, but must earn no fewer than 6 college course credit hours or the equivalent in any one validity period.
(d) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules for the expanded use of training for renewal of the professional certificate for educators who are required to complete training in teaching students of limited English proficiency or students with disabilities and training in the teaching of reading as follows:
1. A teacher who holds a professional certificate may use college credits or inservice points earned through training in teaching students of limited English proficiency or students with disabilities and training in the teaching of reading in excess of 6 semester hours during one certificate-validity period toward renewal of the professional certificate during the subsequent validity periods.
2. A teacher who holds a temporary certificate may use college credits or inservice points earned through training in teaching students of limited English proficiency or students with disabilities and training in the teaching of reading toward renewal of the teacher’s first professional certificate. Such training must not have been included within the degree program, and the teacher’s temporary and professional certificates must be issued for consecutive school years.
(e) Beginning July 1, 2014, an applicant for renewal of a professional certificate must earn a minimum of one college credit or the equivalent inservice points in the area of instruction for teaching students with disabilities. The requirement in this paragraph may not add to the total hours required by the department for continuing education or inservice training.
(4) When any person who holds a valid temporary certificate or professional certificate is called into or volunteers for actual wartime service or required peacetime military service training, the certificate shall be renewed for a period of time equal to the time spent in military service if the person makes proper application and presents substantiating evidence to the department or the employing school district regarding such military service.
(5) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to allow the reinstatement of expired professional certificates. The department may reinstate an expired professional certificate if the certificateholder:
(a) Submits an application for reinstatement of the expired certificate.
(b) Documents completion of 6 college credits during the 5 years immediately preceding reinstatement of the expired certificate, completion of 120 inservice points, or a combination thereof, in an area specified in paragraph (3)(a) to include the credit required under paragraph (3)(e).
(c) During the 5 years immediately preceding reinstatement of the certificate, achieves a passing score on the Florida-developed subject area examination or, if a Florida subject area examination has not been developed, a standardized examination specified in state board rule for each subject to be shown on the reinstated certificate.

The requirements of this subsection may not be satisfied by subject area examinations or college credits completed for issuance of the certificate that has expired.

(6) The State Board of Education may adopt rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement this section, including, but not limited to, applicant renewal requirements.
History.s. 733, ch. 2002-387; s. 45, ch. 2003-391; s. 70, ch. 2004-41; s. 19, ch. 2004-295; s. 9, ch. 2013-185; s. 9, ch. 2013-236; s. 5, ch. 2014-32.
1012.586 Additions or changes to certificates; duplicate certificates.A school district may process via a Department of Education website certificates for the following applications of public school employees:
(1) Addition of a subject coverage or endorsement to a valid Florida certificate on the basis of the completion of the appropriate subject area testing requirements of s. 1012.56(5)(a) or the completion of the requirements of an approved school district program or the inservice components for an endorsement.
(2) A reissued certificate to reflect a name change.
(3) A duplicate certificate to replace a lost or damaged certificate.

The employing school district shall charge the employee a fee not to exceed the amount charged by the Department of Education for such services. Each district school board shall retain a portion of the fee as defined in the rules of the State Board of Education. The portion sent to the department shall be used for maintenance of the technology system, the web application, and posting and mailing of the certificate.

History.s. 46, ch. 2003-391; s. 27, ch. 2008-235.
1012.59 Certification fees.
(1) The State Board of Education, by rule, shall establish separate fees for applications, examinations, certification, certification renewal, late renewal, recordmaking, and recordkeeping, and may establish procedures for scheduling and administering an examination upon an applicant’s request. Each fee shall be based on department estimates of the revenue required to implement the provisions of law with respect to certification of school personnel. The application fee shall be nonrefundable. Each examination fee shall be sufficient to cover the actual cost of developing and administering the examination.
(2) The proceeds from the collection of certification fees, fines, penalties, and costs levied pursuant to this chapter shall be remitted by the Department of Education to the Chief Financial Officer for deposit into a separate fund to be known as the “Educational Certification and Service Trust Fund” and disbursed for the payment of expenses incurred by the Educational Practices Commission and in the printing of forms and bulletins and the issuing of certificates, upon vouchers approved by the department.
History.s. 734, ch. 2002-387; s. 1975, ch. 2003-261; s. 36, ch. 2009-59.
E. Leave, Retirement, Workers’ Compensation
in Public Schools
1012.61 Sick leave.
1012.62 Transfer of sick leave and annual leave.
1012.63 Illness-in-line-of-duty leave.
1012.64 Sabbatical leave.
1012.65 Terminal pay for accrued vacation leave.
1012.66 Provisions for leaves of absence.
1012.67 Absence without leave.
1012.68 Records of absences.
1012.685 Retirement; annuities authorized.
1012.69 Provisions relating to Workers’ Compensation Law.
1012.695 Local civil service system laws not superseded.
1012.61 Sick leave.
(1) ELIGIBILITY.Any member of the instructional staff or any other employee of a district school system employed on a full-time basis in the public schools of the state who is unable to perform his or her duty in the school on account of personal sickness, accident disability, or extended personal illness, or because of illness or death of father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, child, other close relative, or member of his or her own household, and consequently has to be absent from his or her work shall be granted leave of absence for sickness by the district school superintendent or by someone designated in writing by the district school superintendent to do so.
(2) PROVISIONS GOVERNING SICK LEAVE.The following provisions shall govern sick leave:
(a) Extent of leave.
1. Each member of the instructional staff employed on a full-time basis is entitled to 4 days of sick leave as of the first day of employment of each contract year and shall thereafter earn 1 day of sick leave for each month of employment, which shall be credited to the member at the end of that month and which may not be used before it is earned and credited to the member. Each other employee shall be credited with 4 days of sick leave at the end of the first month of employment of each contract year and shall thereafter be credited for 1 day of sick leave for each month of employment, which shall be credited to the employee at the end of the month and which may not be used before it is earned and credited to the employee. However, each member of the instructional staff and each other employee is entitled to earn no more than 1 day of sick leave times the number of months of employment during the year of employment. If the employee terminates his or her employment and has not accrued the 4 days of sick leave available to him or her, the district school board may withhold the average daily amount for the days of sick leave used but unearned by the employee. Such leave may be taken only when necessary because of sickness as prescribed in this section. The sick leave shall be cumulative from year to year. There shall be no limit on the number of days of sick leave which a member of the instructional staff or an educational support employee may accrue, except that at least one-half of this cumulative leave must be established within the district granting such leave.
2. A district school board may establish policies and prescribe standards to permit an employee to be absent 6 days each school year for personal reasons. However, such absences for personal reasons must be charged only to accrued sick leave, and leave for personal reasons is noncumulative.
3. District school boards may adopt rules permitting the annual payment for accumulated sick leave that is earned for that year and that is unused at the end of the school year, based on the daily rate of pay of the employee multiplied by up to 80 percent. Days for which such payment is received shall be deducted from the accumulated leave balance.
4. A district school board may establish policies to provide terminal pay for accumulated sick leave to instructional staff and educational support employees of the district school board. If termination of employment is by death of the employee, any terminal pay to which the employee may have been entitled may be made to his or her beneficiary. However, such terminal pay may not exceed an amount determined as follows:
a. During the first 3 years of service, the daily rate of pay multiplied by 35 percent times the number of days of accumulated sick leave.
b. During the next 3 years of service, the daily rate of pay multiplied by 40 percent times the number of days of accumulated sick leave.
c. During the next 3 years of service, the daily rate of pay multiplied by 45 percent times the number of days of accumulated sick leave.
d. During the next 3 years of service, the daily rate of pay multiplied by 50 percent times the number of days of accumulated sick leave.
e. During and after the 13th year of service, the daily rate of pay multiplied by 100 percent times the number of days of accumulated sick leave.
5. A district school board may establish policies to provide terminal pay for accumulated sick leave to any full-time employee of the district school board other than instructional staff or educational support employees. If termination of the employee is by death of the employee, any terminal pay to which the employee may have been entitled may be made to the employee’s beneficiary. For purposes of computing the amount of terminal pay for accumulated sick leave, sick leave accrued after June 30, 2004, shall be compensated at no more than the daily rate of pay applicable at the time the sick leave was earned.
(b) Claim must be filed.Any district school board employee who finds it necessary to be absent from his or her duties because of illness, as defined in this section, shall notify his or her immediate supervisor, if possible, before the beginning of the workday on which the employee must be absent or during that day, except for emergency reasons recognized by the district school board as valid. Any district school board employee shall, before claiming and receiving compensation for the time absent from his or her duties while absent because of sick leave as prescribed in this section, make and file within 5 working days following his or her return from such absence with the district school superintendent of the district in which he or she is so employed a written certificate which shall set forth the day or days absent, that such absence was necessary, and that the employee is entitled or not entitled to receive pay for such absence in accordance with the provisions of this section; however, the district school board of any district may adopt rules under which the district school superintendent may require a certificate of illness from a licensed physician or from the county health officer.
(c) Compensation.Any employee having unused sick leave credit shall receive full-time compensation for the time justifiably absent on sick leave, but no compensation may be allowed beyond that which may be provided in subparagraph (2)(a)4.
(d) Expenditure authorized.District school boards may expend public funds for payment to employees on account of sickness. The expending and excluding of such funds shall be in compliance with rules adopted by the Department of Management Services pursuant to chapter 650.
(e) Use by family member or other district employee.
1. Each district school system must provide a policy under which a district employee may authorize his or her spouse, child, parent, or sibling who is also a district employee to use sick leave that has accrued to the authorizing employee.
2. Each district school system may provide a policy under which a district employee may authorize any district employee to use sick leave that has accrued to the authorizing employee. The district policy must:
a. Require that the recipient provide documentation, by the treating physician, of the illness, accident, or injury for which leave is otherwise authorized under subsection (1).
b. Establish a minimum number of sick leave days needed by the recipient to participate in the sick leave program.
c. Require that any unused transferred sick leave shall be returned to the authorizing employee whose donated sick leave has not yet been used.
d. Establish the minimum number of sick leave days an authorizing employee must retain.

In developing the policy, the district school board must provide that the recipient may not use the donated sick leave until all of his or her sick leave has been depleted, excluding sick leave from a sick leave pool, if the recipient participates in a sick leave pool. Donated sick leave under this paragraph shall have no terminal value as provided in this subsection.

(3) SICK LEAVE POOL.Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a district school board, based upon the maintenance of reliable and accurate records by the district school system showing the amount of sick leave which has been accumulated and is unused by employees in accordance with this section, may, by rule or collective bargaining agreement, establish one or more plans allowing participating full-time employees of a district school system to pool sick leave accrued and allowing any sick leave thus pooled to be disbursed to any participating employee who is in need of sick leave in excess of that amount he or she has personally accrued. Such rules or agreements shall include, but not be limited to, the following provisions:
(a) Participation in any sick leave pool shall at all times be voluntary on the part of employees.
(b) Any full-time employee shall be eligible for participation in any sick leave pool after 1 year of employment with the district school system, provided the employee has accrued a minimum amount of unused sick leave which shall be established by rule and provided, further, a sick leave pool is established that allows participation by that particular employee.
(c) Any sick leave pooled pursuant to this section shall be removed from the personally accumulated sick leave balance of the employee donating such leave.
(d) Participating employees shall make equal contributions to the sick leave pool. There shall be established a maximum amount of sick leave which may be contributed by an employee to the pool. After the initial contribution which an employee makes upon electing to participate, no further contributions shall be required except as may be necessary to replenish the pool. Any such further contribution shall be equally required of all employees participating in the pool.
(e) Any sick leave time drawn from the pool by a participating employee must be used for said employee’s personal illness, accident, or injury.
(f) A participating employee is not eligible to use sick leave from the pool until all of his or her sick leave has been depleted, unless otherwise agreed to in a collective bargaining agreement. There shall be established a maximum number of days for which an employee may draw sick leave from the sick leave pool.
(g) A participating employee who uses sick leave from the pool is not required to recontribute such sick leave to the pool, except as otherwise provided in this section.
(h) A participating employee who chooses to no longer participate in the sick leave pool is not eligible to withdraw any sick leave already contributed to the pool.
(i) Alleged abuse of the use of the sick leave pool shall be investigated and, on a finding of wrongdoing, the employee shall repay all of the sick leave credits drawn from the sick leave pool and be subject to such other disciplinary action as determined by the district school board to be appropriate. Rules adopted for the administration of this program shall provide for the investigation of the use of sick leave utilized by the participating employee in the sick leave pool.
History.s. 737, ch. 2002-387; s. 1, ch. 2004-360; s. 192, ch. 2008-4; s. 1, ch. 2012-166.
1012.62 Transfer of sick leave and annual leave.In implementing the provisions of ss. 402.22(1)(d) and 1001.42(4)(m), educational personnel in Department of Children and Families residential care facilities who are employed by a district school board may request, and the district school board shall accept, a lump-sum transfer of accumulated sick leave for such personnel to the maximum allowed by policies of the district school board, notwithstanding the provisions of s. 110.122. Educational personnel in Department of Children and Families residential care facilities who are employed by a district school board under the provisions of s. 402.22(1)(d) may request, and the district school board shall accept, a lump-sum transfer of accumulated annual leave for each person employed by the district school board in a position in the district eligible to accrue vacation leave under policies of the district school board.
History.s. 738, ch. 2002-387; s. 71, ch. 2004-41; s. 381, ch. 2014-19.
1012.63 Illness-in-line-of-duty leave.Any district school board employee shall be entitled to illness-in-line-of-duty leave when he or she has to be absent from his or her duties because of a personal injury received in the discharge of duty or because of illness from any contagious or infectious disease contracted in school work. The following requirements shall be observed:
(1) DURATION OF LEAVE AND COMPENSATION.Leave of the district school board employee shall be authorized for a total of not to exceed 10 school days during any school year for illness contracted, or injury incurred, from the causes prescribed above. However, in the case of sickness or injury occurring under such circumstances as in the opinion of the district school board warrant it, additional emergency sick leave may be granted out of local funds for such term and under such conditions as the district school board deems proper. The district school board may carry insurance to safeguard the district school board against excessive payments during any year.
(2) CLAIMS.Any district school board employee who has any claim for compensation while absent because of illness contracted or injury incurred as prescribed herein shall file a claim in the manner prescribed in s. 1012.61(2)(b) within 5 working days following the employee’s return from such absence. The school board of the district in which such person is employed shall approve the claims and authorize the payment thereof if the district school board is satisfied that the claim correctly states the facts and that the claim is entitled to payment in accordance with the provisions of this section.
History.s. 739, ch. 2002-387.
1012.64 Sabbatical leave.
(1) Any member of the instructional staff of any school district may be granted sabbatical leave for a period not to exceed 1 year. A person who receives such leave may be paid one-half of his or her ordinary salary during the period of such leave, or in accordance with negotiated agreement or district school board policy, and shall receive full benefits during such period. A person compensated under this section may not be compensated for other employment during the period of sabbatical leave so that he or she would receive combined compensation in excess of his or her ordinary salary.
(2) Funds, not to exceed 25 percent, of the district’s allocation for inservice training under s. 1011.62(3) or other district funds may be expended in order to fulfill the provisions of this section, provided that the district allocates $5 of district funds for each $1 of state inservice training funds expended under this subsection.
(3) Each district school board shall adopt rules to implement this section.
History.s. 740, ch. 2002-387.
1012.65 Terminal pay for accrued vacation leave.A district school board may establish policies to provide for a lump-sum payment for accrued vacation leave to an employee of the district school board upon termination of employment or upon retirement, or to the employee’s beneficiary if service is terminated by death. Effective July 1, 2001, terminal pay for accrued vacation leave may not exceed a maximum of 60 days of actual payment. This limit does not impair any contractual agreement established before July 1, 2001. For unused vacation leave accumulated before July 1, 2001, terminal payment shall be made pursuant to the district school board’s policies, contracts, or rules that are in effect on June 30, 2001.
History.s. 741, ch. 2002-387.
1012.66 Provisions for leaves of absence.All leaves of absence for all district school board employees, except those leaves prescribed by law, shall be granted with or without compensation pursuant to rules adopted by the district school board. Such leaves authorized by the district school board shall include, but are not limited to, professional leave and extended professional leave, personal leave, military leave granted in compliance with chapter 115, and maternity leave.
History.s. 742, ch. 2002-387.
1012.67 Absence without leave.Any district school board employee who is willfully absent from duty without leave shall forfeit compensation for the time of such absence, and his or her employment shall be subject to termination by the district school board.
History.s. 743, ch. 2002-387.
1012.68 Records of absences.The administrator of each designated organizational unit shall see that both the days present and the days absent for each employee are reported to the district school superintendent at least once each month in the manner prescribed for that purpose. This report shall include the exact dates of, and the reasons for, each absence. Each district school superintendent shall establish procedures to ensure maintenance of the complete records of all such absences.
History.s. 744, ch. 2002-387.
1012.685 Retirement; annuities authorized.
(1) District school boards may purchase annuities for all school personnel with 25 or more years of creditable service who have reached age 50 and have applied for retirement under the Florida Retirement System or who have reached age 55 and have applied for retirement under plan E of the Teachers’ Retirement System. No such annuity shall provide for more than the total difference in retirement income between the retirement benefit based on average monthly compensation and creditable service as of the member’s early retirement date and the early retirement benefit.
(2) District school boards may purchase annuities for members of the Florida Retirement System who have out-of-state teaching service in another state or country which is documented as valid by the appropriate district school board. Such annuities may be based on no more than 5 years of out-of-state teaching service and may equal, but not exceed, the benefits that would be payable under the Florida Retirement System if credit for out-of-state teaching was authorized under that system.
(3) District school boards may invest funds, purchase annuities, or provide local supplemental retirement programs for purposes of providing annuities for school personnel.
(4) All retirement annuities shall comply with s. 14, Art. X of the State Constitution.
History.s. 745, ch. 2002-387.
1012.69 Provisions relating to Workers’ Compensation Law.Nothing contained in this chapter shall supersede any of the provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Law; provided, however, that where amounts payable under the provisions of the education code, for injuries, accidents, or other disabilities which would entitle an employee to compensation under the provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Law exceed the amounts payable under the compensation law, payments shall be made, as provided in the education code, for the difference between the amount paid under the Workers’ Compensation Law and the amount due under the provisions of the education code.
History.s. 746, ch. 2002-387.
1012.695 Local civil service system laws not superseded.Sections 1012.61, 1012.63, and 1012.66 shall not be construed to supersede or modify any local law establishing a civil service system covering employees of any school district.
History.s. 747, ch. 2002-387.
F. Educator Benefits; Liability Protection;
Awards in Public Schools
1012.71 The Florida Teachers Classroom Supply Assistance Program.
1012.72 Dale Hickam Excellent Teaching Program.
1012.75 Liability of teacher or principal; excessive force.
1012.77 Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education Program.
1012.71 The Florida Teachers Classroom Supply Assistance Program.
(1) For purposes of the Florida Teachers Classroom Supply Assistance Program, the term “classroom teacher” means a certified teacher employed by a public school district or a public charter school in that district on or before September 1 of each year whose full-time or job-share responsibility is the classroom instruction of students in prekindergarten through grade 12, including full-time media specialists and certified school counselors serving students in prekindergarten through grade 12, who are funded through the Florida Education Finance Program. A “job-share” classroom teacher is one of two teachers whose combined full-time equivalent employment for the same teaching assignment equals one full-time classroom teacher.
(2) The Legislature, in the General Appropriations Act, shall determine funding for the Florida Teachers Classroom Supply Assistance Program. The funds appropriated are for classroom teachers to purchase, on behalf of the school district or charter school, classroom materials and supplies for the public school students assigned to them and may not be used to purchase equipment. The funds appropriated shall be used to supplement the materials and supplies otherwise available to classroom teachers. From the funds appropriated for the Florida Teachers Classroom Supply Assistance Program, the Commissioner of Education shall calculate an amount for each school district based upon each school district’s proportionate share of the state’s total unweighted FTE student enrollment and shall disburse the funds to the school districts by July 15.
(3) From the funds allocated to each school district and any funds received from local contributions for the Florida Teachers Classroom Supply Assistance Program, the district school board shall calculate an identical amount for each classroom teacher who is estimated to be employed by the school district or a charter school in the district on September 1 of each year, which is that teacher’s proportionate share of the total amount allocated to the district from state funds and funds received from local contributions. A job-share classroom teacher may receive a prorated share of the amount provided to a full-time classroom teacher. For a classroom teacher determined eligible on July 1, the district school board and each charter school board may provide the teacher with his or her total proportionate share by August 1 based on the estimate of the number of teachers who will be employed on September 1. For a classroom teacher determined eligible after July 1, the district school board and each charter school board shall provide the teacher with his or her total proportionate share by September 30. The proportionate share may be provided by any means determined appropriate by the district school board or charter school board, including, but not limited to, direct deposit, check, debit card, or purchasing card. If a debit card is used, an identifier must be placed on the front of the debit card which clearly indicates that the card has been issued for the Florida Teachers Classroom Supply Assistance Program. Expenditures under the program are not subject to state or local competitive bidding requirements. Funds received by a classroom teacher do not affect wages, hours, or terms and conditions of employment and, therefore, are not subject to collective bargaining. Any classroom teacher may decline receipt of or return the funds without explanation or cause.
(4) Each classroom teacher must sign a statement acknowledging receipt of the funds, keep receipts for no less than 4 years to show that funds expended meet the requirements of this section, and return any unused funds to the district school board at the end of the regular school year. Any unused funds that are returned to the district school board shall be deposited into the school advisory council account of the school at which the classroom teacher returning the funds was employed when that teacher received the funds or deposited into the Florida Teachers Classroom Supply Assistance Program account of the school district in which a charter school is sponsored, as applicable.
(5) The statement must be signed and dated by each classroom teacher before receipt of the Florida Teachers Classroom Supply Assistance Program funds and shall include the wording: “I,   (name of teacher)  , am employed by the  County District School Board or by the  Charter School as a full-time classroom teacher. I acknowledge that Florida Teachers Classroom Supply Assistance Program funds are appropriated by the Legislature for the sole purpose of purchasing classroom materials and supplies to be used in the instruction of students assigned to me. In accepting custody of these funds, I agree to keep the receipts for all expenditures for no less than 4 years. I understand that if I do not keep the receipts, it will be my personal responsibility to pay any federal taxes due on these funds. I also agree to return any unexpended funds to the district school board at the end of the regular school year for deposit into the school advisory council account of the school where I was employed at the time I received the funds or for deposit into the Florida Teachers Classroom Supply Assistance Program account of the school district in which the charter school is sponsored, as applicable.”
(6) The Department of Education and district school boards may, and are encouraged to, enter into public-private partnerships in order to increase the total amount of Florida Teachers Classroom Supply Assistance Programs funds available to classroom teachers.
History.s. 749, ch. 2002-387; s. 1, ch. 2007-58; s. 28, ch. 2008-235; s. 37, ch. 2009-59; s. 30, ch. 2013-35; s. 13, ch. 2013-89; s. 10, ch. 2013-185; s. 1, ch. 2014-31.
1012.72 Dale Hickam Excellent Teaching Program.
(1) The Legislature recognizes that teachers play a critical role in preparing students to achieve the high levels of academic performance expected by the Sunshine State Standards. The Legislature further recognizes the importance of identifying and rewarding teaching excellence and of encouraging good teachers to become excellent teachers. The Legislature finds that the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) has established high and rigorous standards for accomplished teaching and has developed a national voluntary system for assessing and certifying teachers who demonstrate teaching excellence by meeting those standards. It is therefore the Legislature’s intent to reward teachers who demonstrate teaching excellence by attaining NBPTS certification and sharing their expertise with other teachers.
(2) The Dale Hickam Excellent Teaching Program is created to provide categorical funding for bonuses for teaching excellence. The bonuses may be provided for initial certification for up to one 10-year period. The Department of Education shall distribute to each school district an amount as prescribed annually by the Legislature for the Dale Hickam Excellent Teaching Program. For purposes of this section, the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind shall be considered a school district. Unless otherwise provided in the General Appropriations Act, each distribution shall be the sum of the amounts earned for the following:
(a) An annual bonus equal to 10 percent of the prior fiscal year’s statewide average salary for classroom teachers to be distributed to the school district to be paid to each individual who holds NBPTS certification and is employed by the district school board or by a public school within the school district. The district school board shall distribute the annual bonus to each individual who meets the requirements of this paragraph and who is certified annually by the district to have demonstrated satisfactory teaching performance pursuant to s. 1012.34. The annual bonus may be paid as a single payment or divided into not more than three payments.
(b) An annual bonus equal to 10 percent of the prior fiscal year’s statewide average salary for classroom teachers to be distributed to the school district to be paid to each individual who meets the requirements of paragraph (a) and agrees, in writing, to provide the equivalent of 12 workdays of mentoring and related services to public school teachers within the state who do not hold NBPTS certification. Related services must include instruction in helping teachers work more effectively with the families of their students. The district school board shall distribute the annual bonus in a single payment following the completion of all required mentoring and related services for the year. It is not the intent of the Legislature to remove excellent teachers from their assigned classrooms; therefore, credit may not be granted by a school district or public school for mentoring or related services provided during student contact time during the 196 days of required service for the school year.
(c) The employer’s share of social security and Medicare taxes for those teachers who receive bonus amounts under paragraph (a) or paragraph (b).
(3) If the funds available in any fiscal year are insufficient to pay in full the annual bonuses for certification and for providing mentoring and related services, payments for providing mentoring and related services shall be prorated among the eligible recipients. If the mentoring and related services are prorated, school districts may pay a portion or all of the balance. If funds are insufficient to pay in full the annual bonuses for certification, payments of bonuses for certification shall be prorated among the eligible recipients.
History.s. 750, ch. 2002-387; s. 1, ch. 2002-403; s. 9, ch. 2003-118; s. 15, ch. 2004-271; s. 6, ch. 2007-19; s. 7, ch. 2007-328; s. 14, ch. 2008-142.
1012.75 Liability of teacher or principal; excessive force.
(1) Except in the case of excessive force or cruel and unusual punishment, a teacher or other member of the instructional staff, a principal or the principal’s designated representative, or a bus driver shall not be civilly or criminally liable for any action carried out in conformity with State Board of Education and district school board rules regarding the control, discipline, suspension, and expulsion of students, including, but not limited to, any exercise of authority under s. 1003.32 or s. 1006.09.
(2) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules that outline administrative standards for the use of reasonable force by school personnel to maintain a safe and orderly learning environment. Such standards shall be distributed to each school in the state and shall provide guidance to school personnel in receiving the limitations on liability specified in this section.
History.s. 753, ch. 2002-387.
1012.77 Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education Program.
(1) The Legislature recognizes that Florida continues to face teacher shortages and that fewer young people consider teaching as a career. It is the intent of the Legislature to promote the positive and rewarding aspects of being a teacher, to encourage more individuals to become teachers, and to provide annual sabbatical support for outstanding Florida teachers to serve as goodwill ambassadors for education. The Legislature further wishes to honor the memory of Christa McAuliffe, who epitomized the challenge and inspiration that teaching can be.
(2) The Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education Program is established to provide salary, travel, and other related expenses annually for an outstanding Florida teacher to promote the positive aspects of teaching as a career. The goals of the program are to:
(a) Enhance the stature of teachers and the teaching profession.
(b) Promote the importance of quality education and teaching for our future.
(c) Inspire and attract talented people to become teachers.
(d) Provide information regarding Florida’s scholarship and loan programs related to teaching.
(e) Promote the teaching profession within community and business groups.
(f) Provide information to retired military personnel and other individuals who might consider teaching as a second career.
(g) Work with and represent the Department of Education, as needed.
(h) Work with and encourage the efforts of school and district teachers of the year.
(i) Support the activities of the Florida Future Educator of America Program.
(j) Represent Florida teachers at business, trade, education, and other conferences and meetings.
(k) Promote the teaching profession in other ways related to the teaching responsibilities, background experiences, and aspirations of the Ambassador for Education.
(3) The Teacher of the Year shall serve as the Ambassador for Education. If the Teacher of the Year is unable to serve as the Ambassador for Education, the first runner-up shall serve in his or her place. The Department of Education shall establish application and selection procedures for determining an annual teacher of the year. Applications and selection criteria shall be developed and distributed annually by the Department of Education to all school districts. The Commissioner of Education shall establish a selection committee which assures representation from teacher organizations, administrators, and parents to select the Teacher of the Year and Ambassador for Education from among the district teachers of the year.
(4)(a) The Commissioner of Education shall pay an annual salary, fringe benefits, travel costs, and other costs associated with administering the program.
(b) The Ambassador for Education shall serve for 1 year, from July 1 to June 30, and shall be assured of returning to his or her teaching position upon completion of the program. The ambassador will not have a break in creditable or continuous service or employment for the period of time in which he or she participates in the program.
History.s. 754, ch. 2002-387.
G. Personnel Discipline and Assistance
in Public Schools
1012.79 Education Practices Commission; organization.
1012.795 Education Practices Commission; authority to discipline.
1012.796 Complaints against teachers and administrators; procedure; penalties.
1012.797 Notification of district school superintendent of certain charges against or convictions of employees.
1012.798 Recovery network program for educators.
1012.799 Reporting certain offenses.
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.
1012.795 Education Practices Commission; authority to discipline.
(1) The Education Practices Commission may suspend the educator certificate of any person as defined in s. 1012.01(2) or (3) for up to 5 years, thereby denying that person the right to teach or otherwise be employed by a district school board or public school in any capacity requiring direct contact with students for that period of time, after which the holder may return to teaching as provided in subsection (4); may revoke the educator certificate of any person, thereby denying that person the right to teach or otherwise be employed by a district school board or public school in any capacity requiring direct contact with students for up to 10 years, with reinstatement subject to the provisions of subsection (4); may revoke permanently the educator certificate of any person thereby denying that person the right to teach or otherwise be employed by a district school board or public school in any capacity requiring direct contact with students; may suspend the educator certificate, upon an order of the court or notice by the Department of Revenue relating to the payment of child support; or may impose any other penalty provided by law, if the person:
(a) Obtained or attempted to obtain an educator certificate by fraudulent means.
(b) Knowingly failed to report actual or suspected child abuse as required in s. 1006.061 or report alleged misconduct by instructional personnel or school administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student as required in s. 1012.796.
(c) Has proved to be incompetent to teach or to perform duties as an employee of the public school system or to teach in or to operate a private school.
(d) Has been guilty of gross immorality or an act involving moral turpitude as defined by rule of the State Board of Education.
(e) Has had an educator certificate sanctioned by revocation, suspension, or surrender in another state.
(f) Has been convicted or found guilty of, or entered a plea of guilty to, regardless of adjudication of guilt, a misdemeanor, felony, or any other criminal charge, other than a minor traffic violation.
(g) Upon investigation, has been found guilty of personal conduct that seriously reduces that person’s effectiveness as an employee of the district school board.
(h) Has breached a contract, as provided in s. 1012.33(2) or s. 1012.335.
(i) Has been the subject of a court order or notice by the Department of Revenue pursuant to s. 409.2598 directing the Education Practices Commission to suspend the certificate as a result of noncompliance with a child support order, a subpoena, an order to show cause, or a written agreement with the Department of Revenue.
(j) Has violated the Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession prescribed by State Board of Education rules.
(k) Has otherwise violated the provisions of law, the penalty for which is the revocation of the educator certificate.
(l) Has violated any order of the Education Practices Commission.
(m) Has been the subject of a court order or plea agreement in any jurisdiction which requires the certificateholder to surrender or otherwise relinquish his or her educator’s certificate. A surrender or relinquishment shall be for permanent revocation of the certificate. A person may not surrender or otherwise relinquish his or her certificate prior to a finding of probable cause by the commissioner as provided in s. 1012.796.
(n) Has been disqualified from educator certification under s. 1012.315.
(2) The plea of guilty in any court, the decision of guilty by any court, the forfeiture by the teaching certificateholder of a bond in any court of law, or the written acknowledgment, duly witnessed, of offenses listed in subsection (1) to the district school superintendent or a duly appointed representative of such superintendent or to the district school board shall be prima facie proof of grounds for revocation of the certificate as listed in subsection (1) in the absence of proof by the certificateholder that the plea of guilty, forfeiture of bond, or admission of guilt was caused by threats, coercion, or fraudulent means.
(3) The revocation by the Education Practices Commission of an educator certificate of any person automatically revokes any and all Florida educator certificates held by that person.
(4)(a) An educator certificate that has been suspended under this section is automatically reinstated at the end of the suspension period, provided the certificate did not expire during the period of suspension. If the certificate expired during the period of suspension, the holder of the former certificate may secure a new certificate by making application therefor and by meeting the certification requirements of the state board current at the time of the application for the new certificate. An educator certificate suspended pursuant to paragraph (1)(i) may be reinstated only upon notice from the court or the Department of Revenue that the party has complied with the terms of the support order, subpoena, order to show cause, or written agreement.
(b) A person whose educator certificate has been revoked under this section may apply for a new certificate at the expiration of that period of ineligibility fixed by the Education Practices Commission by making application therefor and by meeting the certification requirements of the state board current at the time of the application for the new certificate.
(5) Each district school superintendent and the governing authority of each university lab school, state-supported school, or private school shall report to the department the name of any person certified pursuant to this chapter or employed and qualified pursuant to s. 1012.39:
(a) Who has been convicted of, or who has pled nolo contendere to, a misdemeanor, felony, or any other criminal charge, other than a minor traffic infraction;
(b) Who that official has reason to believe has committed or is found to have committed any act which would be a ground for revocation or suspension under subsection (1); or
(c) Who has been dismissed or severed from employment because of conduct involving any immoral, unnatural, or lascivious act.
(6)(a) When an individual violates any provision of a final order of the Education Practices Commission, the Department of Education may request an order to show cause be issued by the clerk of the commission. The order shall require the individual to appear before the commission to show cause why further penalties should not be levied against the individual’s certificate pursuant to the authority provided to the Education Practices Commission in subsection (1). The department may dismiss an order to show cause before the commission enters a final order. The Education Practices Commission may fashion further penalties under the authority of subsection (1) as it deems appropriate when it considers the show cause order.
(b) The Education Practices Commission shall adopt rules requiring the issuance of a final order permanently revoking an individual’s Florida educator’s certificate if the individual has been the subject of sanctions by the Education Practices Commission on two previous occasions. However, an individual is not subject to this provision if the only reason for sanctions on any occasion was one or more administrative violations. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “administrative violation” means the failure of the individual to submit annual performance reports or the failure to pay a probation fee as required by a final order of the Education Practices Commission. Furthermore, any sanction levied by the Education Practices Commission against an applicant for certification is not subject to this provision if the applicant was not previously sanctioned by the Education Practices Commission.
History.s. 757, ch. 2002-387; s. 73, ch. 2004-41; s. 21, ch. 2004-295; s. 10, ch. 2008-92; s. 32, ch. 2008-108; s. 105, ch. 2009-21; s. 15, ch. 2011-1.
1012.796 Complaints against teachers and administrators; procedure; penalties.
(1)(a) The Department of Education shall cause to be investigated expeditiously any complaint filed before it or otherwise called to its attention which, if legally sufficient, contains grounds for the revocation or suspension of a certificate or any other appropriate penalty as set forth in subsection (7). The complaint is legally sufficient if it contains the ultimate facts which show a violation has occurred as provided in s. 1012.795 and defined by rule of the State Board of Education. The department shall investigate or continue to investigate and take appropriate action on a complaint even though the original complainant withdraws the complaint or otherwise indicates a desire not to cause it to be investigated or prosecuted to completion. The department may investigate or continue to investigate and take action on a complaint filed against a person whose educator certificate has expired if the act or acts that are the basis for the complaint were allegedly committed while that person possessed an educator certificate.
(b) The department shall immediately investigate any legally sufficient complaint that involves misconduct by any certificated personnel which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student, giving the complaint priority over other pending complaints. The department must investigate or continue to investigate and take action on such a complaint filed against a person whose educator certificate has expired if the act or acts that are the basis for the complaint were allegedly committed while that person possessed an educator certificate.
(c) When an investigation is undertaken, the department shall notify the certificateholder or applicant for certification and the district school superintendent or the university laboratory school, charter school, or private school in which the certificateholder or applicant for certification is employed or was employed at the time the alleged offense occurred. In addition, the department shall inform the certificateholder or applicant for certification of the substance of any complaint which has been filed against that certificateholder or applicant, unless the department determines that such notification would be detrimental to the investigation, in which case the department may withhold notification.
(d) Each school district shall file in writing with the department all legally sufficient complaints within 30 days after the date on which subject matter of the complaint comes to the attention of the school district. A complaint is legally sufficient if it contains ultimate facts that show a violation has occurred as provided in s. 1012.795 and defined by rule of the State Board of Education. The school district shall include all information relating to the complaint which is known to the school district at the time of filing. Each district school board shall develop and adopt policies and procedures to comply with this reporting requirement. School board policies and procedures must include standards for screening, hiring, and terminating instructional personnel and school administrators, as defined in s. 1012.01; standards of ethical conduct for instructional personnel and school administrators; the duties of instructional personnel and school administrators for upholding the standards; detailed procedures for reporting alleged misconduct by instructional personnel and school administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student; requirements for the reassignment of instructional personnel or school administrators pending the outcome of a misconduct investigation; and penalties for failing to comply with s. 1001.51 or s. 1012.795. The district school board policies and procedures shall include appropriate penalties for all personnel of the district school board for nonreporting and procedures for promptly informing the district school superintendent of each legally sufficient complaint. The district school superintendent is charged with knowledge of these policies and procedures and is accountable for the training of all instructional personnel and school administrators of the school district on the standards of ethical conduct, policies, and procedures. If the district school superintendent has knowledge of a legally sufficient complaint and does not report the complaint, or fails to enforce the policies and procedures of the district school board, and fails to comply with the requirements of this subsection, in addition to other actions against certificateholders authorized by law, the district school superintendent is subject to penalties as specified in s. 1001.51(12). If the superintendent determines that misconduct by instructional personnel or school administrators who hold an educator certificate affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student and the misconduct warrants termination, the instructional personnel or school administrators may resign or be terminated, and the superintendent must report the misconduct to the department in the format prescribed by the department. The department shall maintain each report of misconduct as a public record in the instructional personnel’s or school administrators’ certification files. This paragraph does not limit or restrict the power and duty of the department to investigate complaints, regardless of the school district’s untimely filing, or failure to file, complaints and followup reports.
(e) If allegations arise against an employee who is certified under s. 1012.56 and employed in an educator-certificated position in any public school, charter school or governing board thereof, or private school that accepts scholarship students under s. 1002.39 or s. 1002.395, the school shall file in writing with the department a legally sufficient complaint within 30 days after the date on which the subject matter of the complaint came to the attention of the school. A complaint is legally sufficient if it contains ultimate facts that show a violation has occurred as provided in s. 1012.795 and defined by rule of the State Board of Education. The school shall include all known information relating to the complaint with the filing of the complaint. This paragraph does not limit or restrict the power and duty of the department to investigate complaints, regardless of the school’s untimely filing, or failure to file, complaints and followup reports.
(f) Notwithstanding any other law, all law enforcement agencies, state attorneys, social service agencies, district school boards, and the Division of Administrative Hearings shall fully cooperate with and, upon request, shall provide unredacted documents to the Department of Education to further investigations and prosecutions conducted pursuant to this section. Any document received may not be redisclosed except as authorized by law.
(2) The Commissioner of Education shall develop job specifications for investigative personnel employed by the department. Such specifications shall be substantially equivalent to or greater than those job specifications of investigative personnel employed by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The department may contract with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation for investigations. No person who is responsible for conducting an investigation of a teacher or administrator may prosecute the same case. The department general counsel or members of that staff may conduct prosecutions under this section.
(3) The department staff shall advise the commissioner concerning the findings of the investigation. The department general counsel or members of that staff shall review the investigation and advise the commissioner concerning probable cause or lack thereof. The determination of probable cause shall be made by the commissioner. The commissioner shall provide an opportunity for a conference, if requested, prior to determining probable cause. The commissioner may enter into deferred prosecution agreements in lieu of finding probable cause if, in his or her judgment, such agreements are in the best interests of the department, the certificateholder, and the public. Such deferred prosecution agreements shall become effective when filed with the clerk of the Education Practices Commission. However, a deferred prosecution agreement shall not be entered into if there is probable cause to believe that a felony or an act of moral turpitude, as defined by rule of the State Board of Education, has occurred. Upon finding no probable cause, the commissioner shall dismiss the complaint.
(4) The complaint and all information obtained pursuant to the investigation by the department shall be confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) until the conclusion of the preliminary investigation of the complaint, until such time as the preliminary investigation ceases to be active, or until such time as otherwise provided by s. 1012.798(6). However, the complaint and all material assembled during the investigation may be inspected and copied by the certificateholder under investigation, or the certificateholder’s designee, after the investigation is concluded, but prior to the determination of probable cause by the commissioner. If the preliminary investigation is concluded with the finding that there is no probable cause to proceed, the complaint and information shall be open thereafter to inspection pursuant to s. 119.07(1). If the preliminary investigation is concluded with the finding that there is probable cause to proceed and a complaint is filed pursuant to subsection (6), the complaint and information shall be open thereafter to inspection pursuant to s. 119.07(1). If the preliminary investigation ceases to be active, the complaint and all such material shall be open thereafter to inspection pursuant to s. 119.07(1), except as otherwise provided pursuant to s. 1012.798(6). For the purpose of this subsection, a preliminary investigation shall be considered active as long as it is continuing with a reasonable, good faith anticipation that an administrative finding will be made in the foreseeable future.
(5) When an allegation of misconduct by instructional personnel or school administrators, as defined in s. 1012.01, is received, if the alleged misconduct affects the health, safety, or welfare of a student, the district school superintendent in consultation with the school principal, or upon the request of the Commissioner of Education, must immediately suspend the instructional personnel or school administrators from regularly assigned duties, with pay, and reassign the suspended personnel or administrators to positions that do not require direct contact with students in the district school system. Such suspension shall continue until the completion of the proceedings and the determination of sanctions, if any, pursuant to this section and s. 1012.795.
(6) Upon the finding of probable cause, the commissioner shall file a formal complaint and prosecute the complaint pursuant to the provisions of chapter 120. An administrative law judge shall be assigned by the Division of Administrative Hearings of the Department of Management Services to hear the complaint if there are disputed issues of material fact. The administrative law judge shall make recommendations in accordance with the provisions of subsection (7) to the appropriate Education Practices Commission panel which shall conduct a formal review of such recommendations and other pertinent information and issue a final order. The commission shall consult with its legal counsel prior to issuance of a final order.
(7) A panel of the commission shall enter a final order either dismissing the complaint or imposing one or more of the following penalties:
(a) Denial of an application for a teaching certificate or for an administrative or supervisory endorsement on a teaching certificate. The denial may provide that the applicant may not reapply for certification, and that the department may refuse to consider that applicant’s application, for a specified period of time or permanently.
(b) Revocation or suspension of a certificate.
(c) Imposition of an administrative fine not to exceed $2,000 for each count or separate offense.
(d) Placement of the teacher, administrator, or supervisor on probation for a period of time and subject to such conditions as the commission may specify, including requiring the certified teacher, administrator, or supervisor to complete additional appropriate college courses or work with another certified educator, with the administrative costs of monitoring the probation assessed to the educator placed on probation. An educator who has been placed on probation shall, at a minimum:
1. Immediately notify the investigative office in the Department of Education upon employment or termination of employment in the state in any public or private position requiring a Florida educator’s certificate.
2. Have his or her immediate supervisor submit annual performance reports to the investigative office in the Department of Education.
3. Pay to the commission within the first 6 months of each probation year the administrative costs of monitoring probation assessed to the educator.
4. Violate no law and shall fully comply with all district school board policies, school rules, and State Board of Education rules.
5. Satisfactorily perform his or her assigned duties in a competent, professional manner.
6. Bear all costs of complying with the terms of a final order entered by the commission.
(e) Restriction of the authorized scope of practice of the teacher, administrator, or supervisor.
(f) Reprimand of the teacher, administrator, or supervisor in writing, with a copy to be placed in the certification file of such person.
(g) Imposition of an administrative sanction, upon a person whose teaching certificate has expired, for an act or acts committed while that person possessed a teaching certificate or an expired certificate subject to late renewal, which sanction bars that person from applying for a new certificate for a period of 10 years or less, or permanently.
(h) Refer the teacher, administrator, or supervisor to the recovery network program provided in s. 1012.798 under such terms and conditions as the commission may specify.
(8) Violations of the provisions of a final order shall result in an order to show cause issued by the clerk of the Education Practices Commission if requested by the Department of Education. Upon failure of the educator, at the time and place stated in the order, to show cause satisfactorily to the Education Practices Commission why a penalty for violating the provisions of a final order should not be imposed, the Education Practices Commission shall impose whatever penalty is appropriate as established in s. 1012.795(6). The Department of Education shall prosecute the individual ordered to show cause before the Education Practices Commission. The Department of Education and the individual may enter into a settlement agreement, which shall be presented to the Education Practices Commission for consideration. Any probation period will be tolled when an order to show cause has been issued until the issue is resolved by the Education Practices Commission; however, the other terms and conditions of the final order shall be in full force and effect until changed by the Education Practices Commission.
(9) All moneys collected by, or awarded to, the commission as fees, fines, penalties, or costs shall be deposited into the Educational Certification and Service Trust Fund pursuant to s. 1012.59.
History.s. 758, ch. 2002-387; s. 74, ch. 2004-41; s. 22, ch. 2004-295; s. 156, ch. 2005-2; s. 33, ch. 2008-108; s. 19, ch. 2010-24.
1012.797 Notification of district school superintendent of certain charges against or convictions of employees.
(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 985.04(7) or any other provision of law to the contrary, a law enforcement agency shall, within 48 hours, notify the appropriate district school superintendent of the name and address of any employee of the school district who is charged with a felony or with a misdemeanor involving the abuse of a minor child or the sale or possession of a controlled substance. The notification shall include the specific charge for which the employee of the school district was arrested. Such notification shall include other education providers such as the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, university lab schools, and private elementary and secondary schools.
(2) Except to the extent necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of other students, the information obtained by the district school superintendent pursuant to this section may be released only to appropriate school personnel or as otherwise provided by law.
History.s. 759, ch. 2002-387; s. 130, ch. 2006-120.
1012.798 Recovery network program for educators.
(1) RECOVERY NETWORK ESTABLISHED.There is created within the Department of Education, a recovery network program to assist educators who are impaired as a result of alcohol abuse, drug abuse, or a mental condition to obtain treatment. Any person who has applied for or holds certification issued by the department pursuant to s. 1012.56 is eligible for the program. The individual may access the program voluntarily or be directed to participate through a deferred prosecution agreement with the Commissioner of Education or a final order of the Education Practices Commission pursuant to s. 1012.796.
(2) STAFF.
(a) The department shall employ an administrator and staff as are necessary to be assigned exclusively to the recovery network program.
(b) The Commissioner of Education shall establish the criteria for and appoint the staff of the program.
(c) The department may contract with other professionals to implement this section.
(3) PURPOSE.The recovery network program shall assist educators in obtaining treatment and services from approved treatment providers, but each impaired educator must pay for his or her treatment under terms and conditions agreed upon by the impaired educator and the treatment provider. A person who is admitted to the recovery network program must contract with the treatment provider and the program. The treatment contract must prescribe the type of treatment and the responsibilities of the impaired educator and of the provider and must provide that the impaired educator’s progress will be monitored by the recovery network program.
(4) APPROVAL OF TREATMENT PROVIDERS.The recovery network program shall locate, evaluate, and approve qualified treatment providers.
(5) RELATIONSHIP WITH EDUCATION PRACTICES COMMISSION AND DEPARTMENT.The recovery network program shall operate independently of, but may cooperate with, the Office of Professional Practices Services of the Department of Education and the Education Practices Commission. A person’s participation in the program entitles the commissioner to enter into a deferred prosecution agreement pursuant to s. 1012.796, or such participation may be considered a factor in mitigation of or a condition of disciplinary action against the person’s certificate by the Education Practices Commission pursuant to s. 1012.795.
(6) PARTICIPATION.The recovery network program shall operate independently of employee assistance programs operated by local school districts, and the powers and duties of school districts to make employment decisions, including disciplinary decisions, is not affected except as provided in this section:
(a) A person who is not subject to investigation or proceedings under ss. 1012.795 and 1012.796 may voluntarily seek assistance through a local school district employee assistance program for which he or she is eligible and through the recovery network, regardless of action taken against him or her by a school district. Voluntarily seeking assistance alone does not subject a person to proceedings under ss. 1012.795 and 1012.796.
(b) A person who is subject to investigation or proceedings under ss. 1012.795 and 1012.796 may be required to participate in the program. The program may approve a local employee assistance program as a treatment provider or as a means of securing a treatment provider. The program and the local school district shall cooperate so that the person may obtain treatment without limiting the school district’s statutory powers and duties as an employer or the disciplinary procedures under ss. 1012.795 and 1012.796.
(c) A person may be enrolled in a treatment program by the recovery network program after an investigation pursuant to s. 1012.796 has commenced, if the person:
1. Acknowledges his or her impairment.
2. Agrees to evaluation, as approved by the recovery network.
3. Agrees to enroll in an appropriate treatment program approved by the recovery network.
4. Executes releases for all medical and treatment records regarding his or her impairment and participation in a treatment program to the recovery network, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. s. 290dd-3 and the federal regulations adopted thereunder.
5. Enters into a deferred prosecution agreement with the commissioner, which provides that no prosecution shall be instituted concerning the matters enumerated in the agreement if the person is properly enrolled in the treatment program and successfully completes the program as certified by the recovery network. The commissioner is under no obligation to enter into a deferred prosecution agreement with the educator but may do so if he or she determines that it is in the best interest of the educational program of the state and the educator.
6. Has not previously entered a substance abuse program.
7. Is not being investigated for any action involving commission of a felony or violent act against another person.
8. Has not had multiple arrests for minor drug use, possession, or abuse of alcohol.
(7) REFERRAL TO NETWORK WHEN NO PROBABLE CAUSE IS DETERMINED.If a complaint is made to the department against a teacher or an administrator pursuant to s. 1012.796 and a finding of no probable cause indicates that no concern other than impairment exists, the department shall inform the person of the availability of assistance provided by the recovery network program.
(8) ADMISSION.A person who is referred or who requests admission to the recovery network program shall be temporarily admitted pending a finding that he or she has:
(a) Acknowledged his or her impairment problem.
(b) Agreed to evaluation as approved by the recovery network program.
(c) Voluntarily enrolled in an appropriate treatment program approved by the recovery network program.
(d) Voluntarily sought agreement from the school district for temporary leave or limitations on the scope of employment if the temporary leave or limitations are included in the treatment provider’s recommendations; or voluntarily agreed to pursue the alternative treatment recommended by the treatment provider if the school district does not approve such temporary leave or limitations on the scope of employment.
(e) Executed releases to the recovery network program for all medical and treatment records regarding his or her impairment and participation in a treatment program pursuant to 42 U.S.C. s. 290dd-3 and the federal regulations adopted thereunder.
(9) DISCLOSURE OF MEDICAL RECORDS.An approved treatment provider must disclose to the recovery network program all information in its possession which relates to a person’s impairment and participation in the treatment program. Information obtained under this subsection is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This exemption is necessary to promote the rehabilitation of impaired educators and to protect the privacy of treatment program participants. The failure to provide such information to the program is grounds for withdrawal of approval of a treatment provider. Medical records provided to the program may not be disclosed to any other person, except as authorized by law.
(10) DECLARATION OF INELIGIBILITY.
(a) A person may be declared ineligible for further assistance from the recovery network program if he or she does not progress satisfactorily in a treatment program or leaves a prescribed program or course of treatment without the approval of the treatment provider.
(b) The determination of ineligibility must be made by the program administrator or designee after review of the circumstances of the case.
(c) If treatment through the program is a condition of a deferred prosecution agreement, and the program administrator determines that the person is ineligible for further assistance, the commissioner may agree to modify the terms and conditions of the deferred prosecution agreement or may issue an administrative complaint, pursuant to s. 1012.796, alleging the charges regarding which prosecution was deferred. The person may dispute the determination as an affirmative defense to the administrative complaint by including with his or her request for hearing on the administrative complaint a written statement setting forth the facts and circumstances that show that the determination of ineligibility was erroneous. If administrative proceedings regarding the administrative complaint, pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57, result in a finding that the determination of ineligibility was erroneous, the person is eligible to participate in the program. If the determination of ineligibility was the only reason for setting aside the deferred prosecution agreement and issuing the administrative complaint and the administrative proceedings result in a finding that the determination was erroneous, the complaint shall be dismissed and the deferred prosecution agreement reinstated without prejudice to the commissioner’s right to reissue the administrative complaint for other breaches of the agreement.
(d) If treatment through the program is a condition of a final order of the Education Practices Commission, the program administrator’s determination of ineligibility constitutes a finding that the person failed to comply with the final order. Pursuant to ss. 1012.795 and 1012.796, upon the request of the Department of Education, the clerk of the Education Practices Commission shall issue to the educator an order to show cause, or the Commissioner of Education may issue an administrative complaint in the same manner as for cases based on a failure to comply with an order of the Education Practices Commission.
(e) If the person voluntarily entered into a treatment contract with the program, the program administrator shall issue a written notice stating the reasons for the determination of ineligibility. Within 20 days after the date of such notice, the person may contest the determination of ineligibility pursuant to ss. 120.569 and 120.57.
(11) MEDICAL RECORDS RELEASE.Medical records released pursuant to paragraph (8)(e) may be disclosed to the commissioner, the Office of Professional Practices Services, and the Education Practices Commission only as required for purposes of this section, or as otherwise authorized by law. Further disclosure or release of the medical records may not be made except as authorized by law and in accordance with 42 U.S.C. s. 290dd-2 and the federal regulations adopted thereunder. The medical records are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(12) FEES.The State Board of Education shall include in the fees established pursuant to s. 1012.59 an amount sufficient to implement the provisions of this section. The State Board of Education shall by rule establish procedures and additional standards for:
(a) Approving treatment providers, including appropriate qualifications and experience, amount of reasonable fees and charges, and quality and effectiveness of treatment programs provided.
(b) Admitting eligible persons to the program.
(c) Evaluating impaired persons by the recovery network program.
History.s. 760, ch. 2002-387; s. 23, ch. 2004-295.
1012.799 Reporting certain offenses.Instructional personnel or administrative personnel having knowledge that a sexual battery has been committed by a student upon another student must report the offense to a law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the school plant or over the place where the sexual battery occurred if not on the grounds of the school plant.
History.s. 761, ch. 2002-387.
PART IV
PUBLIC POSTSECONDARY EDUCATIONAL
INSTITUTIONS; PERSONNEL
A. General Provisions
B. Florida College System Institutions;
Personnel
C. Universities; Personnel
A. General Provisions
1012.80 Participation by employees in disruptive activities at public postsecondary educational institutions; penalties.
1012.801 Employees of the Board of Governors.
1012.80 Participation by employees in disruptive activities at public postsecondary educational institutions; penalties.
(1)(a) Any person who accepts the privilege extended by the laws of this state of employment at any Florida College System institution shall, by working at such institution, be deemed to have given his or her consent to the policies of that institution, the policies of the State Board of Education, and the laws of this state. Such policies shall include prohibition against disruptive activities at Florida College System institutions.
(b) Any person who accepts the privilege extended by the laws of this state of employment at any state university shall, by working at such institution, be deemed to have given his or her consent to the policies of that institution, the policies of the Board of Governors, and the laws of this state. Such policies shall include prohibition against disruptive activities at state universities.
(2) After it has been determined that an employee of a public postsecondary educational institution has participated in disruptive activities, the institution may terminate the contract of the employee, and thereafter such person shall not be employed by any state public school or public postsecondary educational institution.
History.s. 764, ch. 2002-387; s. 162, ch. 2007-217; s. 185, ch. 2011-5.
1012.801 Employees of the Board of Governors.Employees of the Board of Governors who were participating in the State University Optional Retirement Program prior to June 30, 2002, shall be eligible to continue such participation as long as they remain employees of the Board of Governors or a state university without a break in continuous service.
History.s. 765, ch. 2002-387; s. 163, ch. 2007-217.
B. Florida College System Institutions;
Personnel
1012.81 Personnel records.
1012.82 Teaching faculty; minimum teaching hours per week.
1012.83 Contracts with administrative and instructional staff.
1012.84 Exemption from county civil service commissions.
1012.85 Payment of costs of civil actions against officers, employees, or agents of Florida College System institution board of trustees.
1012.855 Employment of Florida College System institution personnel; discrimination in granting salary prohibited.
1012.86 Florida College System institution employment equity accountability program.
1012.865 Sick leave.
1012.87 Retirement annuities.
1012.875 State Community College System Optional Retirement Program.
1012.88 Florida College System institution police.
1012.885 Remuneration of Florida College System institution presidents; limitations.
1012.886 Remuneration of Florida College System institution administrative employees; limitations.
1012.81 Personnel records.
(1) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules prescribing the content and custody of limited-access records that a Florida College System institution may maintain on its employees. Limited-access employee records are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1). Limited-access records include only the following:
(a) Records containing information reflecting academic evaluations of employee performance; however, the employee and officials of the institution responsible for supervision of the employee shall have access to such records.
(b) Records maintained for the purposes of any investigation of employee misconduct, including, but not limited to, a complaint against an employee and all information obtained pursuant to the investigation of such complaint; however, these records become public after the investigation ceases to be active or when the institution provides written notice to the employee who is the subject of the complaint that the institution has either:
1. Concluded the investigation with a finding not to proceed with disciplinary action;
2. Concluded the investigation with a finding to proceed with disciplinary action; or
3. Issued a letter of discipline.

For the purpose of this paragraph, an investigation shall be considered active as long as it is continuing with a reasonable, good faith anticipation that a finding will be made in the foreseeable future. An investigation shall be presumed to be inactive if no finding is made within 90 days after the complaint is filed.

(c) Records maintained for the purposes of any disciplinary proceeding brought against an employee; however, these records shall be open to inspection by the employee and shall become public after a final decision is made in the proceeding.
(d) Records maintained for the purposes of any grievance proceeding brought by an employee for enforcement of a collective bargaining agreement or contract; however, these records shall be open to inspection by the employee and by officials of the institution conducting the grievance proceeding and shall become public after a final decision is made in the proceeding.
(2) Except as required for use by the president in the discharge of his or her official responsibilities, the custodian of limited-access employee records may release information from such records only upon authorization in writing from the employee or the president or upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
History.s. 767, ch. 2002-387; s. 186, ch. 2011-5; s. 1, ch. 2012-46.
1012.82 Teaching faculty; minimum teaching hours per week.Each full-time member of the teaching faculty at any Florida College System institution who is paid wholly from funds appropriated from the Florida College System Program Fund or from funds appropriated for Florida College System institution baccalaureate degree programs shall teach a minimum of 15 classroom contact hours per week at such institution. However, the required classroom contact hours per week may be reduced upon approval of the president of the institution in direct proportion to specific duties and responsibilities assigned the faculty member by his or her departmental chair or other appropriate college administrator. Such specific duties may include specific research duties, specific duties associated with developing television, video tape, or other specifically assigned innovative teaching techniques or devices, or assigned responsibility for off-campus student internship or work-study programs. A “classroom contact hour” consists of a regularly scheduled classroom activity of not less than 50 minutes in a course of instruction which has been approved by the Florida College System institution board of trustees. Any full-time faculty member who is paid partly from Florida College System institution program funds and partly from other funds or appropriations shall teach a minimum number of classroom contact hours per week in such proportion to 15 classroom contact hours as his or her salary paid from Florida College System institution program funds bears to his or her total salary. Any full-time faculty member who is paid partly from funds appropriated for Florida College System institution baccalaureate degree programs and partly from other funds or appropriations shall teach a minimum number of classroom contact hours per week in such proportion to 15 classroom contact hours as his or her salary paid from funds appropriated for Florida College System institution baccalaureate degree programs bears to his or her total salary.
History.s. 768, ch. 2002-387; s. 10, ch. 2007-246; s. 187, ch. 2011-5.
1012.83 Contracts with administrative and instructional staff.
(1) Each person employed in an administrative or instructional capacity in a Florida College System institution shall be entitled to a contract as provided by rules of the State Board of Education.
(2) Each contract or employment agreement, or renewal or renegotiation of an existing contract or employment agreement, containing a provision for severance pay with an officer, agent, employee, or contractor must include the provisions required in s. 215.425.
History.s. 769, ch. 2002-387; s. 34, ch. 2009-60; s. 188, ch. 2011-5; s. 37, ch. 2012-134.
1012.84 Exemption from county civil service commissions.
(1) Any Florida College System institution located in a county which has either a budget commission or a civil service commission is exempt from the regulation, supervision, and control of any such commission.
(2) Any general or special law conflicting with this section is repealed to the extent that said law conflicts with this section.
History.s. 770, ch. 2002-387; s. 189, ch. 2011-5.
1012.85 Payment of costs of civil actions against officers, employees, or agents of Florida College System institution board of trustees.
(1) Whenever any civil action has been brought against any officer of the Florida College System institution board of trustees, including a board member, or any person employed by or agent of the Florida College System institution board of trustees, of any Florida College System institution for any act or omission arising out of and in the course of the performance of his or her duties and responsibilities, the Florida College System institution board of trustees may defray all costs of defending such action, including reasonable attorney’s fees and expenses together with costs of appeal, if any, and may save harmless and protect such person from any financial loss resulting therefrom; and the Florida College System institution board of trustees may be self-insured, to enter into risk management programs, or to purchase insurance for whatever coverage it may choose, or to have any combination thereof, to cover all such losses and expenses. However, any attorney’s fees paid from public funds for any officer, employee, or agent who is found to be personally liable by virtue of acting outside the scope of his or her employment or acting in bad faith, with malicious purpose, or in a manner exhibiting wanton and willful disregard of human rights, safety, or property may be recovered by the state, county, municipality, or political subdivision in a civil action against such officer, employee, or agent.
(2) Failure by a Florida College System institution board of trustees to perform any act authorized by this section shall not constitute a cause of action against a Florida College System institution or its trustees, officers, employees, or agents.
History.s. 771, ch. 2002-387; s. 190, ch. 2011-5.
1012.855 Employment of Florida College System institution personnel; discrimination in granting salary prohibited.
(1)(a) Employment of all personnel in each Florida College System institution shall be upon recommendation of the president, subject to rejection for cause by the Florida College System institution board of trustees; to the rules of the State Board of Education relative to certification, tenure, leaves of absence of all types, including sabbaticals, remuneration, and such other conditions of employment as the State Board of Education deems necessary and proper; and to policies of the Florida College System institution board of trustees not inconsistent with law.
(b) Any internal auditor employed by a Florida College System institution shall be hired by the Florida College System institution board of trustees and shall report directly to the board.
(2) Each Florida College System institution board of trustees shall undertake a program to eradicate any discrimination on the basis of gender, race, or physical handicap in the granting of salaries to employees.
History.s. 772, ch. 2002-387; s. 191, ch. 2011-5.
1012.86 Florida College System institution employment equity accountability program.
(1) Each Florida College System institution shall include in its annual equity update a plan for increasing the representation of women and minorities in senior-level administrative positions and in full-time faculty positions, and for increasing the representation of women and minorities who have attained continuing-contract status. Positions shall be defined in the personnel data element directory of the Department of Education. The plan must include specific measurable goals and objectives, specific strategies and timelines for accomplishing these goals and objectives, and comparable national standards as provided by the Department of Education. The goals and objectives shall be based on meeting or exceeding comparable national standards and shall be reviewed and recommended by the State Board of Education as appropriate. Such plans shall be maintained until appropriate representation has been achieved and maintained for at least 3 consecutive reporting years.
(2)(a) On or before May 1 of each year, each Florida College System institution president shall submit an annual employment accountability plan to the Commissioner of Education and the State Board of Education. The accountability plan must show faculty and administrator employment data according to requirements specified on the federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EE0-6) report.
(b) The plan must show the following information for those positions including, but not limited to:
1. Job classification title.
2. Gender.
3. Ethnicity.
4. Appointment status.
5. Salary information. At each Florida College System institution, salary information shall also include the salary ranges in which new hires were employed compared to the salary ranges for employees with comparable experience and qualifications.
6. Other comparative information including, but not limited to, composite information regarding the total number of positions within the particular job title classification for the Florida College System institution by race, gender, and salary range compared to the number of new hires.
7. A statement certifying diversity and balance in the gender and ethnic composition of the selection committee for each vacancy, including a brief description of guidelines used for ensuring balanced and diverse membership on selection and review committees.
(c) The annual employment accountability plan shall also include an analysis and an assessment of the Florida College System institution’s attainment of annual goals and of long-range goals for increasing the number of women and minorities in faculty and senior-level administrative positions, and a corrective action plan for addressing underrepresentation.
(d) Each Florida College System institution’s employment accountability plan must also include:
1. The requirements for receiving a continuing contract.
2. A brief description of the process used to grant continuing-contract status.
3. A brief description of the process used to annually apprise each eligible faculty member of progress toward attainment of continuing-contract status.
(3) Florida College System institution presidents and the heads of each major administrative division shall be evaluated annually on the progress made toward meeting the goals and objectives of the Florida College System institution’s employment accountability plan.
(a) The Florida College System institution presidents, or the presidents’ designees, shall annually evaluate each department chairperson, dean, provost, and vice president in achieving the annual and long-term goals and objectives. A summary of the results of such evaluations shall be reported annually by the Florida College System institution president to the Florida College System institution board of trustees. Annual budget allocations by the Florida College System institution board of trustees for positions and funding must take into consideration these evaluations.
(b) Florida College System institution boards of trustees shall annually evaluate the performance of the Florida College System institution presidents in achieving the annual and long-term goals and objectives. A summary of the results of such evaluations shall be reported to the Commissioner of Education and the State Board of Education as part of the Florida College System institution’s annual employment accountability plan, and to the Legislature as part of the annual equity progress report submitted by the State Board of Education.
(4) The State Board of Education shall submit an annual equity progress report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on or before January 1 of each year.
(5) Each Florida College System institution shall develop a budgetary incentive plan to support and ensure attainment of the goals developed pursuant to this section. The plan shall specify, at a minimum, how resources shall be allocated to support the achievement of goals and the implementation of strategies in a timely manner. After prior review and approval by the Florida College System institution president and the Florida College System institution board of trustees, the plan shall be submitted as part of the annual employment accountability plan submitted by each Florida College System institution to the State Board of Education.
(6) Subject to available funding, the Legislature shall provide an annual appropriation to the State Board of Education to be allocated to Florida College System institution presidents, faculty, and administrative personnel to further enhance equity initiatives and related priorities that support the mission of colleges and departments in recognition of the attainment of the equity goals and objectives.
History.s. 773, ch. 2002-387; s. 192, ch. 2011-5.
1012.865 Sick leave.Each Florida College System institution board of trustees shall adopt rules whereby any full-time employee who is unable to perform his or her duties at the Florida College System institution on account of personal sickness, accident disability, or extended personal illness, or because of illness or death of the employee’s father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, child, or other close relative or member of the employee’s own household, and who consequently has to be absent from work shall be granted leave of absence for sickness by the president or by the president’s designated representative. The following provisions shall govern sick leave:
(1) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, the term:
(a) “Educational support employee” means any person employed by a Florida College System institution as an education or administrative paraprofessional; a member of the operations, maintenance, or comparable department; or a secretary, clerical, or comparable level support employee.
(b) “Instructional staff” shall be used synonymously with the word “teacher” or “faculty” and includes faculty members, librarians, counselors, and other comparable members engaged in an instructional capacity in the Florida College System institution.
(2) EXTENT OF LEAVE WITH COMPENSATION.
(a) Each full-time employee shall earn 1 day of sick leave with compensation for each calendar month or major fraction of a calendar month of service, not to exceed 12 days for each fiscal year. Such leave shall be taken only when necessary because of sickness as herein prescribed. Such sick leave shall be cumulative from year to year. Accumulated sick leave may be transferred from another Florida College System institution, the Florida Department of Education, a state university, a Florida district school board, or a state agency, provided that at least one-half of the sick leave accumulated at any time must have been established in the college in which such employee is currently employed.
(b) A Florida College System institution board of trustees may establish rules and prescribe procedures whereby a full-time employee may, at the beginning date of employment in any year, be credited with 12 days of sick leave with compensation in excess of the number of days the employee has earned. Upon termination of employment, the employee’s final compensation shall be adjusted in an amount necessary to ensure that sick leave with compensation does not exceed the days of earned sick leave as provided herein.
(c) A Florida College System institution board of trustees may establish rules and prescribe standards to permit a full-time employee to be absent no more than 4 days for personal reasons. However, such absences for personal reasons shall be charged only to accrued sick leave, and leave for personal reasons shall be noncumulative.
(d) A Florida College System institution board of trustees may establish rules to provide terminal pay for accumulated sick leave to full-time instructional staff and educational support employees or to the employee’s beneficiary if service is terminated by death. However, such terminal pay may not exceed an amount determined as follows:
1. During the first 3 years of service, the daily rate of pay multiplied by 35 percent times the number of days of accumulated sick leave.
2. During the next 3 years of service, the daily rate of pay multiplied by 40 percent times the number of days of accumulated sick leave.
3. During the next 3 years of service, the daily rate of pay multiplied by 45 percent times the number of days of accumulated sick leave.
4. During the 10th year of service, the daily rate of pay multiplied by 50 percent times the number of days of accumulated sick leave.
5. During the next 20 years of service, the daily rate of pay multiplied by 50 percent plus up to an additional 2.5 percent per year for each year of service beyond 10 years, times the number of days of accumulated sick leave.

If an employee receives terminal pay benefits based on unused sick leave credit, all unused sick leave credit shall become invalid; however, if an employee terminates his or her employment without receiving terminal pay benefits and is reemployed, his or her sick leave credit shall be reinstated.

(e) A Florida College System institution board of trustees may, by rule, provide for terminal pay for accumulated unused sick leave to be paid to any full-time employee of a Florida College System institution other than instructional staff or educational support employees. If termination of employment is by death of the employee, any terminal pay to which the employee may have been entitled shall be made to the employee’s beneficiary.
1. For unused sick leave accumulated before July 1, 2001, terminal pay shall be made pursuant to rules or policies of the board of trustees which were in effect on June 30, 2001.
2. For unused sick leave accumulated on or after July 1, 2001, terminal payment may not exceed an amount equal to one-fourth of the employee’s unused sick leave or 60 days of the employee’s pay, whichever amount is less.
3. If the employee had an accumulated sick leave balance of 60 days or more on June 30, 2001, sick leave earned after that date may not be accumulated for terminal pay purposes until the accumulated leave balance as of June 30, 2001, is less than 60 days.
(3) CLAIM MUST BE FILED.Any full-time employee who finds it necessary to be absent from his or her duties because of illness as defined in this section shall notify the Florida College System institution president or a college official designated by the president, if possible before the opening of college on the day on which the employee must be absent or during the day, except when he or she is absent for emergency reasons recognized by the Florida College System institution board of trustees as valid. Any employee shall, before claiming and receiving compensation for the time absent from his or her duties while absent because of sick leave as prescribed in this section, make and file a written certificate which shall set forth the day or days absent, that such absence was necessary, and that he or she is entitled or not entitled to receive pay for such absence in accordance with the provisions of this section. The Florida College System institution board of trustees may adopt rules under which the president may require a certificate of illness from a licensed physician or from the county health officer.
(4) COMPENSATION.Any full-time employee who has unused sick leave credit shall receive full-time compensation for the time justifiably absent on sick leave; however, no compensation may be allowed beyond that provided in subsection (6).
(5) EXPENDITURE AUTHORIZED.Florida College System institution boards of trustees may expend public funds for payment to employees on account of sickness. The expending and excluding of such funds shall be in compliance with rules adopted by the Department of Management Services pursuant to chapter 650.
(6) SICK LEAVE POOL.Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a Florida College System institution board of trustees may, by rule, based upon the maintenance of reliable and accurate records by the Florida College System institution showing the amount of sick leave which has been accumulated and is unused by employees in accordance with this section, establish a plan allowing participating full-time employees of the Florida College System institution to pool sick leave accrued and allowing any sick leave thus pooled to be disbursed to any participating employee who is in need of sick leave in excess of that amount he or she has personally accrued. Such rules shall include, but not be limited to, the following provisions:
(a) Participation in the sick leave pool shall at all times be voluntary on the part of employees.
(b) Any full-time employee shall be eligible for participation in the sick leave pool after 1 year of employment with the Florida College System institution, provided such employee has accrued a minimum amount of unused sick leave, which minimum shall be established by rule.
(c) Any sick leave pooled pursuant to this section shall be removed from the personally accumulated sick leave balance of the employee donating such leave.
(d) Participating employees shall make equal contributions to the sick leave pool. There shall be established a maximum amount of sick leave which may be contributed to the pool by an employee. After the initial contribution which an employee makes upon electing to participate, no further contributions shall be required except as may be necessary to replenish the pool. Any such further contribution shall be equally required of all employees participating in the pool.
(e) Any sick leave time drawn from the pool by a participating employee must be used for that employee’s personal illness, accident, or injury.
(f) A participating employee will not be eligible to use sick leave from the pool until all of his or her sick leave has been depleted. There shall be established a maximum number of days for which an employee may draw sick leave from the sick leave pool.
(g) A participating employee who uses sick leave from the pool will not be required to recontribute such sick leave to the pool, except as otherwise provided herein.
(h) A participating employee who chooses to no longer participate in the sick leave pool will not be eligible to withdraw any sick leave already contributed to the pool.
(i) Alleged abuse of the use of the sick leave pool shall be investigated, and, on a finding of wrongdoing, the employee shall repay all of the sick leave credits drawn from the sick leave pool and shall be subject to such other disciplinary action as is determined by the board to be appropriate. Rules adopted for the administration of this program shall provide for the investigation of the use of sick leave utilized by the participating employee in the sick leave pool.
History.s. 774, ch. 2002-387; s. 193, ch. 2011-5.
1012.87 Retirement annuities.Each Florida College System institution board of trustees may purchase annuities for its Florida College System institution personnel who have 25 or more years of creditable service and who have reached age 55 and have applied for retirement under the Florida Retirement System. No such annuity may provide for more than the total difference in retirement income between the retirement benefit based on average monthly compensation and creditable service as of the member’s early retirement date and the early retirement benefit. Florida College System institution boards of trustees may also purchase annuities for members of the Florida Retirement System who have out-of-state teaching service in another state or country which is documented as valid by the appropriate educational entity. Such annuities may be based on no more than 5 years of out-of-state teaching service and may equal, but not exceed, the benefits that would be payable under the Florida Retirement System if credit for out-of-state teaching was authorized under that system. Each Florida College System institution board of trustees may invest funds, purchase annuities, or provide local supplemental retirement programs for purposes of providing retirement annuities for Florida College System institution personnel. All such retirement annuities shall comply with s. 14, Art. X of the State Constitution.
History.s. 775, ch. 2002-387; s. 194, ch. 2011-5.
1012.875 State Community College System Optional Retirement Program.Each Florida College System institution may implement an optional retirement program, if such program is established therefor pursuant to s. 1001.64(20), under which annuity or other contracts providing retirement and death benefits may be purchased by, and on behalf of, eligible employees who participate in the program, in accordance with s. 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. Except as otherwise provided herein, this retirement program, which shall be known as the State Community College System Optional Retirement Program, may be implemented and administered only by an individual Florida College System institution or by a consortium of Florida College System institutions.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Activation” means the date upon which an optional retirement program is first made available by the program administrator to eligible employees.
(b) “College” means Florida College System institutions as defined in s. 1000.21.
(c) “Department” means the Department of Management Services.
(d) “Program administrator” means the individual college or consortium of colleges responsible for implementing and administering an optional retirement program.
(e) “Program participant” means an eligible employee who has elected to participate in an available optional retirement program as authorized by this section.
(2) Participation in the optional retirement program provided by this section is limited to employees who satisfy the criteria set forth in s. 121.051(2)(c).
(3)(a) With respect to any employee who is eligible to participate in the optional retirement program by reason of qualifying employment commencing before the program’s activation:
1. The employee may elect to participate in the optional retirement program in lieu of participation in the Florida Retirement System. To become a program participant, the employee must file with the personnel officer of the college, within 90 days after the program’s activation, a written election on a form provided by the Florida Retirement System and a completed application for an individual contract or certificate.
2. An employee’s participation in the optional retirement program commences on the first day of the next full calendar month following the filing of the election and completed application with the program administrator and receipt of such election by the department. An employee’s membership in the Florida Retirement System terminates on this same date.
3. Any such employee who fails to make an election to participate in the optional retirement program within 60 days after its activation has elected to retain membership in the Florida Retirement System.
(b) With respect to any employee who becomes eligible to participate in an optional retirement program by reason of qualifying employment commencing on or after the program’s activation:
1. The employee may elect to participate in the optional retirement program in lieu of participation in the Florida Retirement System. To become a program participant, the employee must file with the personnel officer of the college, within 90 days after commencing qualifying employment as provided in s. 121.051(2)(c)4., a written election on a form provided by the Florida Retirement System and a completed application for an individual contract or certificate.
2. An employee’s participation in the optional retirement program commences retroactive to the first day of qualifying employment following the filing of the election and completed application with the program administrator and receipt of such election by the department. An employee’s membership in the Florida Retirement System terminates on this same date.
3. Any such employee who fails to make an election to participate in the optional retirement program within 90 days after commencing qualifying employment has elected to retain membership in the Florida Retirement System.
(c) Any employee who, on or after an optional retirement program’s activation, becomes eligible to participate in the program by reason of a change in status due to the subsequent designation of the employee’s position as one of those referenced in subsection (2), or due to the employee’s appointment, promotion, transfer, or reclassification to a position referenced in subsection (2), must be notified by the college of the employee’s eligibility to participate in the optional retirement program in lieu of participation in the Florida Retirement System. These eligible employees are subject to the provisions of paragraph (b) and may elect to participate in the optional retirement program in the same manner as those employees described in paragraph (b), except that the 90-day election period commences upon the date notice of eligibility is received by the employee and participation in the program begins the first day of the first full calendar month that the change in status becomes effective.
(d) Program participants must be fully and immediately vested in the optional retirement program upon issuance of an optional retirement program contract.
(e) The election by an eligible employee to participate in the optional retirement program is irrevocable for so long as the employee continues to meet the eligibility requirements set forth in this section and in s. 121.051(2)(c), except as provided in paragraph (i) or as provided in s. 121.051(2)(c)3.
(f) If a program participant becomes ineligible to continue participating in the optional retirement program pursuant to the criteria referenced in subsection (2), the employee becomes a member of the Florida Retirement System if eligible. The college must notify the department of an employee’s change in eligibility status within 30 days after the event that makes the employee ineligible to continue participation in the optional retirement program.
(g) An eligible employee who is a member of the Florida Retirement System at the time of election to participate in the optional retirement program retains all retirement service credit earned under the Florida Retirement System at the rate earned. Additional service credit in the Florida Retirement System may not be earned while the employee participates in the optional retirement program, nor is the employee eligible for disability retirement under the Florida Retirement System. An eligible employee may transfer from the Florida Retirement System to his or her accounts under the State Community College Optional Retirement Program a sum representing the present value of his or her service credit accrued under the defined benefit program of the Florida Retirement System for the period between his or her first eligible transfer date from the defined benefit plan to the optional retirement program and the actual date of such transfer as provided in s. 121.051(2)(c)7. Upon such transfer, all such service credit previously earned under the defined benefit program of the Florida Retirement System during this period shall be nullified for purposes of entitlement to a future benefit under the defined benefit program of the Florida Retirement System.
(h) A program participant may not simultaneously participate in any other state-administered retirement system, plan, or class.
(i) Except as provided in s. 121.052(6)(d), a program participant who is or who becomes dually employed in two or more positions covered by the Florida Retirement System, one of which is eligible for an optional retirement program pursuant to this section and one of which is not, is subject to the dual employment provisions of chapter 121.
(4)(a)1. Through June 30, 2011, each college must contribute on behalf of each program member an amount equal to 10.43 percent of the employee’s gross monthly compensation.
2. Effective July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012, each member shall contribute an amount equal to the employee contribution required under s. 121.71(3). The employer shall contribute on behalf of each program member an amount equal to the difference between 10.43 percent of the employee’s gross monthly compensation and the employee’s required contribution based on the employee’s gross monthly compensation.
3. Effective July 1, 2012, each member shall contribute an amount equal to the employee contribution required under s. 121.71(3). The employer shall contribute on behalf of each program member an amount equal to the difference between 8.15 percent of the employee’s gross monthly compensation and the employee’s required contribution based on the employee’s gross monthly compensation.
4. The college shall deduct an amount approved by the district board of trustees of the college to provide for the administration of the optional retirement program. Payment of this contribution must be made directly by the college or through the program administrator to the designated company contracting for payment of benefits to the program member.
(b) Each college must contribute on behalf of each program participant an amount equal to the unfunded actuarial accrued liability portion of the employer contribution which would be required if the program participant were a member of the Regular Class of the Florida Retirement System. Payment of this contribution must be made directly by the college to the department for deposit in the Florida Retirement System Trust Fund.
(c) Each program participant who has been issued an optional retirement program contract may contribute by way of salary reduction or deduction a percentage of the program participant’s gross compensation, but this percentage may not exceed the corresponding percentage contributed by the Florida College System institution to the optional retirement program. Payment of this contribution may be made either directly by the college or through the program administrator to the designated company contracting for payment of benefits to the program participant.
(d) Contributions to an optional retirement program by a college or a program participant are in addition to, and have no effect upon, contributions required now or in future by the federal Social Security Act.
(e) The college may accept for deposit into participant account or accounts contributions in the form of rollovers or direct trustee-to-trustee transfers by or on behalf of participants who are reasonably determined by the college to be eligible for rollover or transfer to the optional retirement program pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code, if such contributions are made in accordance with the applicable requirements of the college. Accounting for such contributions shall be in accordance with any applicable requirements of the Internal Revenue Code and the college.
(5)(a) The benefits to be provided to program participants must be provided through contracts, including individual contracts or individual certificates issued for group annuity or other contracts, which may be fixed, variable, or both, in accordance with s. 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. Each individual contract or certificate must state the type of contract on its face page, and must include at least a statement of ownership, the contract benefits, distribution options, limitations, expense charges, and surrender charges, if any.
(b) Benefits are payable under the optional retirement program to program participants or their beneficiaries and paid only by the designated company in accordance with the terms of the contracts applicable to the program participant. Benefits shall accrue in individual accounts that are participant-directed, portable, and funded by employer and employee contributions and the earnings thereon. Benefit payments may not be made until the member has been terminated for 3 calendar months, except the college may authorize a distribution of up to 10 percent of the member’s account after the member is terminated from employment with all Florida Retirement System participating employers for 1 calendar month if the member has reached the normal retirement date as defined in s. 121.021. The board of trustees for the college may adopt rules to implement this paragraph. Benefits funded by employer and employee contributions are payable in accordance with the following terms and conditions:
1. Benefits shall be payable only to a participant, to his or her beneficiaries, or to his or her estate, as designated by the participant.
2. Benefits shall be paid by the provider company or companies in accordance with the law, the provisions of the contract, and any applicable employer rule or policy.
3. In the event of a participant’s death, moneys accumulated by, or on behalf of, the participant, less withholding taxes remitted to the Internal Revenue Service, if any, shall be distributed to the participant’s designated beneficiary or beneficiaries, or to the participant’s estate, as if the participant retired on the date of death as provided in paragraph (d). No other death benefits are available for survivors of participants under the optional retirement program except for such benefits, or coverage for such benefits, as are separately afforded by the employer at the employer’s discretion.
(c) Upon receipt by the provider company of a properly executed application for distribution of benefits, the total accumulated benefits shall be payable to the participant as:
1. A lump-sum distribution to the participant;
2. A lump-sum direct rollover distribution whereby all accrued benefits, plus interest and investment earnings, are paid from the participant’s account directly to an eligible retirement plan as defined in s. 402(c)(8)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code, on behalf of the participant;
3. Periodic distributions;
4. A partial lump-sum payment whereby a portion of the accrued benefit is paid to the participant and the remaining amount is transferred to an eligible retirement plan, as defined in s. 402(c)(8)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code, on behalf of the participant; or
5. Such other distribution options as are provided for in the participant’s optional retirement program contract.
(d) Survivor benefits shall be payable as:
1. A lump-sum distribution payable to the beneficiaries or to the deceased participant’s estate;
2. An eligible rollover distribution on behalf of the surviving spouse or beneficiary of a deceased participant whereby all accrued benefits, plus interest and investment earnings, are paid from the deceased participant’s account directly to an eligible retirement plan, as described in s. 402(c)(8)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code, on behalf of the surviving spouse;
3. Such other distribution options as are provided for in the participant’s optional retirement program contract; or
4. A partial lump-sum payment whereby a portion of the accrued benefits are paid to the deceased participant’s surviving spouse or other designated beneficiaries, less withholding taxes remitted to the Internal Revenue Service, if any, and the remaining amount is transferred directly to an eligible retirement plan, as described in s. 402(c)(8)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code, on behalf of the surviving spouse. The proportions must be specified by the participant or the surviving beneficiary.

Nothing in this paragraph abrogates other applicable provisions of state or federal law providing payment of death benefits.

(e) The benefits payable to any person under the optional retirement program, and any contribution accumulated under the program, are not subject to assignment, execution, attachment, or to any legal process whatsoever.
(6)(a) The optional retirement program authorized by this section must be implemented and administered by the program administrator under s. 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. The program administrator has the express authority to contract with a third party to fulfill any of the program administrator’s duties.
(b) The program administrator shall solicit competitive bids or issue a request for proposal and select no more than four companies from which optional retirement program contracts may be purchased under the optional retirement program. In making these selections, the program administrator shall consider the following factors:
1. The financial soundness of the company.
2. The extent of the company’s experience in providing annuity or other contracts to fund retirement programs.
3. The nature and extent of the rights and benefits provided to program participants in relation to the premiums paid.
4. The suitability of the rights and benefits provided to the needs of eligible employees and the interests of the college in the recruitment and retention of employees.

In lieu of soliciting competitive bids or issuing a request for proposals, the program administrator may authorize the purchase of annuity contracts under the optional retirement program from those companies currently selected by the department to offer such contracts through the State University System Optional Retirement Program, as set forth in s. 121.35.

(c) Optional retirement program annuity contracts must be approved in form and content by the program administrator in order to qualify. The program administrator may use the same annuity contracts currently used within the State University System Optional Retirement Program, as set forth in s. 121.35.
(d) The provision of each annuity contract applicable to a program participant must be contained in a written program description that includes a report of pertinent financial and actuarial information on the solvency and actuarial soundness of the program and the benefits applicable to the program participant. The company must furnish the description annually to the program administrator, and to each program participant upon commencement of participation in the program and annually thereafter.
(e) The program administrator must ensure that each program participant is provided annually with an accounting of the total contributions and the annual contributions made by and on the behalf of the program participant.
(7) Benefits, including employee contributions, are not payable for employee hardships, unforeseeable emergencies, loans, medical expenses, educational expenses, purchase of a principal residence, payments necessary to prevent eviction or foreclosure on an employee’s principal residence, or any other reason except a requested distribution for retirement, a mandatory de minimis distribution authorized by the administrator, or a required minimum distribution provided pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code.
History.s. 776, ch. 2002-387; s. 8, ch. 2003-260; s. 193, ch. 2008-4; s. 195, ch. 2011-5; s. 40, ch. 2011-68; s. 6, ch. 2012-146; s. 11, ch. 2012-222.
1012.88 Florida College System institution police.
(1) Each Florida College System institution is permitted and empowered to employ police officers for the Florida College System institution, who must be designated Florida College System institution police.
(2) Each Florida College System institution police officer is a law enforcement officer of the state and a conservator of the peace who has the authority to arrest, in accordance with the laws of this state, any person for a violation of state law or applicable county or municipal ordinance if that violation occurs on or in any property or facilities or within 1,000 feet of any property of the Florida College System institution by which he or she is employed or any property or facilities of a direct-support organization of such Florida College System institution or any other organization controlled by the Florida College System institution, or when such violations occur within a specified jurisdictional area as agreed upon in a mutual aid agreement entered into with a law enforcement agency pursuant to s. 23.1225. A Florida College System institution police officer may also arrest a person off campus for a violation committed on campus after a hot pursuit of that person that began on or within 1,000 feet of any such property or facilities. A Florida College System institution police officer may bear arms in the performance of his or her duties and carry out a search pursuant to a search warrant on the campus where he or she is employed. Florida College System institution police, upon request of the sheriff or local police authority, may serve subpoenas or other legal process and may make arrests of persons against whom arrest warrants have been issued or against whom charges have been made for violations of federal or state laws or county or municipal ordinances.
(3) Florida College System institution police shall promptly deliver all persons arrested and charged with felonies to the sheriff of the county within which the Florida College System institution is located and all persons arrested and charged with misdemeanors to the applicable authority as provided by law, but otherwise to the sheriff of the county in which the Florida College System institution is located.
(4) Florida College System institution police must meet the minimum standards established by the Police Standards and Training Commission of the Department of Law Enforcement and chapter 943 for law enforcement officers. Each Florida College System institution police officer must, before entering into the performance of his or her duties, take the oath of office established by the Florida College System institution. Each Florida College System institution that employs police officers may obtain and approve a bond on each police officer, conditioned upon the officer’s faithful performance of his or her duties, which bond must be payable to the Governor. The Florida College System institution may determine the amount of the bond. In determining the amount of the bond, the Florida College System institution may consider the amount of money or property likely to be in the custody of the officer at any one time. The Florida College System institution shall provide a uniform set of identifying credentials to each Florida College System institution police officer it employs.
(5) In performance of any of the powers, duties, and functions authorized by law, Florida College System institution police have the same rights, protections, and immunities afforded other law enforcement officers.
(6) The Florida College System institution, with the approval of the Department of Law Enforcement, shall adopt rules, including, without limitation, rules for the appointment, employment, and removal of Florida College System institution police in accordance with the state Career Service System and shall establish in writing a policy manual, that includes, without limitation, procedures for managing routine law enforcement situations and emergency law enforcement situations. The Florida College System institution shall furnish a copy of the policy manual to each of the police officers it employs.
History.s. 777, ch. 2002-387; s. 196, ch. 2011-5; s. 3, ch. 2013-171.
1012.885 Remuneration of Florida College System institution presidents; limitations.
(1) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Appropriated state funds” means funds appropriated from the General Revenue Fund or funds appropriated from state trust funds.
(b) “Cash-equivalent compensation” means any benefit that may be assigned an equivalent cash value.
(c) “Remuneration” means salary, bonuses, and cash-equivalent compensation paid to a Florida College System institution president by his or her employer for work performed, excluding health insurance benefits and retirement benefits.
(2) EXCEPTIONS.This section does not prohibit a party from providing cash or cash-equivalent compensation from funds that are not appropriated state funds to a Florida College System institution president in excess of the limit in subsection (3). If a party is unable or unwilling to fulfill an obligation to provide cash or cash-equivalent compensation to a Florida College System institution president as permitted under this subsection, appropriated state funds may not be used to fulfill such obligation.
(3) LIMITATION ON REMUNERATION.Notwithstanding a law, resolution, or rule to the contrary, a Florida College System institution president may not receive more than $200,000 in remuneration from appropriated state funds. Only compensation, as defined in s. 121.021(22), provided to a Florida College System institution president may be used in calculating benefits under chapter 121.
History.s. 28, ch. 2010-155; s. 197, ch. 2011-5; s. 39, ch. 2011-63; s. 38, ch. 2012-134; s. 21, ch. 2013-45; s. 98, ch. 2014-39.
1012.886 Remuneration of Florida College System institution administrative employees; limitations.
(1) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Appropriated state funds” means funds appropriated from the General Revenue Fund or funds appropriated from state trust funds.
(b) “Cash-equivalent compensation” means any benefit that may be assigned an equivalent cash value.
(c) “Remuneration” means salary, bonuses, and cash-equivalent compensation paid to a Florida College System institution administrative employee by his or her employer for work performed, excluding health insurance benefits and retirement benefits.
(2) LIMITATION ON COMPENSATION.Notwithstanding any other law, resolution, or rule to the contrary, a Florida College System institution administrative employee may not receive more than $200,000 in remuneration annually from appropriated state funds. Only compensation, as such term is defined in s. 121.021(22), provided to a Florida College System institution administrative employee may be used in calculating benefits under chapter 121.
(3) EXCEPTIONS.This section does not prohibit any party from providing cash or cash-equivalent compensation from funds that are not appropriated state funds to a Florida College System institution administrative employee in excess of the limit in subsection (2). If a party is unable or unwilling to fulfill an obligation to provide cash or cash-equivalent compensation to a Florida College System institution administrative employee as permitted under this subsection, appropriated state funds may not be used to fulfill such obligation. This section does not apply to Florida College System institution teaching faculty.
History.s. 40, ch. 2011-63; s. 39, ch. 2012-134; s. 22, ch. 2013-45.
C. Universities; Personnel
1012.91 Personnel records.
1012.93 Faculty members; test of spoken English.
1012.945 Required number of classroom teaching hours for university faculty members.
1012.96 IFAS extension personnel; federal health insurance programs notwithstanding the provisions of s. 110.123.
1012.965 Payment of costs of civil action against employees.
1012.97 University police.
1012.975 Remuneration of state university presidents; limitations.
1012.976 Remuneration of state university administrative employees; limitations.
1012.91 Personnel records.
(1) Each university board of trustees shall adopt rules prescribing the content and custody of limited-access records that the university may maintain on its employees. Such limited-access records are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1). Such records are limited to the following:
(a) Records containing information reflecting academic evaluations of employee performance shall be open to inspection only by the employee and by officials of the university responsible for supervision of the employee.
(b) Records maintained for the purposes of any investigation of employee misconduct, including but not limited to a complaint against an employee and all information obtained pursuant to the investigation of such complaint, shall be confidential until the investigation ceases to be active or until the university provides written notice to the employee who is the subject of the complaint that the university has either:
1. Concluded the investigation with a finding not to proceed with disciplinary action;
2. Concluded the investigation with a finding to proceed with disciplinary action; or
3. Issued a letter of discipline.

For the purpose of this paragraph, an investigation shall be considered active as long as it is continuing with a reasonable, good faith anticipation that a finding will be made in the foreseeable future. An investigation shall be presumed to be inactive if no finding is made within 90 days after the complaint is filed.

(c) Records maintained for the purposes of any disciplinary proceeding brought against an employee shall be confidential until a final decision is made in the proceeding. The record of any disciplinary proceeding, including any evidence presented, shall be open to inspection by the employee at all times.
(d) Records maintained for the purposes of any grievance proceeding brought by an employee for enforcement of a collective bargaining agreement or contract shall be confidential and shall be open to inspection only by the employee and by officials of the university conducting the grievance proceeding until a final decision is made in the proceeding.
(2) Notwithstanding the foregoing, any records or portions thereof which are otherwise confidential by law shall continue to be exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1). In addition, for sexual harassment investigations, portions of such records which identify the complainant, a witness, or information which could reasonably lead to the identification of the complainant or a witness are limited-access records.
(3) Except as required for use by the president in the discharge of his or her official responsibilities, the custodian of limited-access records may release information from such records only upon authorization in writing from the employee or upon order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1), records comprising the common core items contained in the State University System Student Assessment of Instruction or comparable instrument may not be prescribed as limited-access records.
(5) This section shall apply to records created after July 1, 1995.
History.s. 779, ch. 2002-387.
1012.93 Faculty members; test of spoken English.All faculty members in each state university, other than those persons who teach courses that are conducted primarily in a foreign language, shall be proficient in the oral use of English, as determined by a satisfactory grade on the “Test of Spoken English” of the Educational Testing Service or a similar test approved by the Board of Governors.
History.s. 781, ch. 2002-387; s. 164, ch. 2007-217.
1012.945 Required number of classroom teaching hours for university faculty members.
(1) As used in this section:
(a) “State funds” means those funds appropriated annually in the General Appropriations Act.
(b) “Classroom contact hour” means a regularly scheduled 1-hour period of classroom activity in a course of instruction which has been approved by the university.
(2) Each full-time equivalent teaching faculty member at a university who is paid wholly from state funds shall teach a minimum of 12 classroom contact hours per week at such university. However, any faculty member who is assigned by his or her departmental chair or other appropriate university administrator professional responsibilities and duties in furtherance of the mission of the university shall teach a minimum number of classroom contact hours in proportion to 12 classroom hours per week as such especially assigned aforementioned duties and responsibilities bear to 12 classroom contact hours per week. Any full-time faculty member who is paid partly from state funds and partly from other funds or appropriations shall teach a minimum number of classroom contact hours in such proportion to 12 classroom contact hours per week as his or her salary paid from state funds bears to his or her total salary. In determining the appropriate hourly weighting of assigned duties other than classroom contact hours, the universities shall develop and apply a formula designed to equate the time required for nonclassroom duties with classroom contact hours. “Full-time equivalent teaching faculty member” shall be interpreted to mean all faculty personnel budgeted in the instruction and research portion of the budget, exclusive of those full-time equivalent positions assigned to research, public service, administrative duties, and academic advising. Full-time administrators, librarians, and counselors shall be exempt from the provisions of this section; and colleges of medicine and law and others which are required for purposes of accreditation to meet national standards prescribed by the American Medical Association, the American Bar Association, or other professional associations shall be exempt from the provisions of this section to the extent that the requirements of this section differ from the requirements of accreditation.
History.s. 783, ch. 2002-387.
1012.96 IFAS extension personnel; federal health insurance programs notwithstanding the provisions of s. 110.123.The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida may pay the employer’s share of premiums to the Federal Health Benefits Insurance Program from its appropriated budget for any cooperative extension employee of the institute having both state and federal appointments and participating in the Federal Civil Service Retirement System.
History.s. 785, ch. 2002-387.
1012.965 Payment of costs of civil action against employees.
(1) An employee or agent under the right of control of a university board of trustees who, pursuant to the university board’s policies or rules, renders medical care or treatment at any hospital or health care facility with which the university board maintains an affiliation agreement whereby the hospital or health care facility provides to the university board a clinical setting for health care education, research, and services, shall not be deemed to be an agent of any person other than the university board in any civil action resulting from any act or omission of the employee or agent while rendering said medical care or treatment. For this subsection to apply, the patient shall be provided separate written conspicuous notice by the university board of trustees or by the hospital or health care facility, and shall acknowledge receipt of this notice, in writing, unless impractical by reason of an emergency, either personally or through another person authorized to give consent for him or her, that he or she will receive care provided by university board’s employees and liability, if any, that may arise from that care is limited as provided by law. Compliance by a hospital or health care facility with the requirements of chapter 395 or s. 766.110(1) shall not be used as evidence in any civil action to establish an employment or agency relationship between the hospital or health care facility and an employee or agent of the university board of trustees providing services within the hospital or health care facility.
(2) All faculty physicians employed by a university board of trustees who are subject to the requirements of s. 456.013 shall complete their risk management continuing education on issues specific to academic medicine. Such continuing education shall include instruction for the supervision of resident physicians as required by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.
(3) There are appropriated out of any funds available to a university, not subject to the obligation of contract, covenant, or trust, the amounts necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.
(4) Failure of a university board of trustees or an affiliated health care provider to do any act authorized by this section shall not constitute a cause of action against the university board, or an affiliated health care provider, or any of their members, officers, or employees.
History.s. 786, ch. 2002-387; s. 123, ch. 2013-18.
1012.97 University police.
(1) Each university is empowered and directed to provide for police officers for the university, and such police officers shall hereafter be known and designated as the “university police.”
(2) The university police are declared to be law enforcement officers of the state and conservators of the peace and have the right to arrest, in accordance with the laws of this state, any person for violation of state law or applicable county or city ordinances when such violations occur on or within 1,000 feet of any property or facilities that are under the guidance, supervision, regulation, or control of the state university, a direct-support organization of such university, or any other organization controlled by the state university, or when such violations occur within a specified jurisdictional area as agreed upon in a mutual aid agreement entered into with a law enforcement agency pursuant to s. 23.1225(1). Arrest may be made off campus when hot pursuit originates on or within 1,000 feet of any such property or facilities, or as agreed upon in accordance with the mutual aid agreement. Such officers have full authority to bear arms in the performance of their duties and to execute search warrants within their territorial jurisdiction. University police, when requested by the sheriff or local police authority, may serve subpoenas or other legal process and may make arrest of any person against whom a warrant has been issued or any charge has been made of violation of federal or state laws or county or city ordinances.
(3) University police shall promptly deliver all persons arrested and charged with a felony to the sheriff of the county within which the university is located, and all persons arrested and charged with misdemeanors shall be delivered to the applicable authority as may be provided by law, but otherwise to the sheriff of the county in which the university is located.
(4) University police must meet the minimum standards established by the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission and chapter 943. Each police officer shall, before entering into the performance of his or her duties, take the oath of office as established by the university; and the university may obtain and approve a bond on each officer, payable to the Governor and his or her successors in office, conditioned on the faithful performance of the duties of such university police officer. The university may determine the amount of the bond. In determining the amount of the bond, the university may consider the amount of money or property likely to be in the custody of the officer at any one time. The university shall provide a uniform set of identification credentials for each university police officer.
(5) In performance of any of the powers, duties, and functions authorized by law or this section, university police shall have the same rights, protections, and immunities afforded other peace or law enforcement officers.
(6) The university, in concurrence with the Department of Law Enforcement, shall adopt rules, including, but not limited to, the appointment, employment, and removal of university police and, further, establish in writing a policy manual, including, but not limited to, routine and emergency law enforcement situations. A policy manual shall be furnished to each university police officer.
History.s. 787, ch. 2002-387; s. 3, ch. 2009-216.
1012.975 Remuneration of state university presidents; limitations.
(1) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Cash-equivalent compensation” means any benefit that may be assigned an equivalent cash value.
(b) “Public funds” means funds appropriated from the General Revenue Fund, funds appropriated from state trust funds, tuition and fees, or any funds from a state university trust fund regardless of repository.
(c) “Remuneration” means salary, bonuses, and cash-equivalent compensation paid to a state university president by his or her employer for work performed, excluding health insurance benefits and retirement benefits.
(2) EXCEPTIONS.This section does not prohibit a party from providing cash or cash-equivalent compensation from funds that are not public funds to a state university president in excess of the limit in subsection (3). If a party is unable or unwilling to fulfill an obligation to provide cash or cash-equivalent compensation to a state university president as permitted under this subsection, public funds may not be used to fulfill such obligation.
(3) LIMITATION ON REMUNERATION.Notwithstanding a law, resolution, or rule to the contrary, a state university president may not receive more than $200,000 in remuneration from public funds. Only compensation, as defined in s. 121.021(22), provided to a state university president may be used in calculating benefits under chapter 121.
History.s. 4, ch. 2003-392; s. 41, ch. 2011-63; s. 40, ch. 2012-134; s. 23, ch. 2013-45; s. 99, ch. 2014-39.
1012.976 Remuneration of state university administrative employees; limitations.
(1) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Appropriated state funds” means funds appropriated from the General Revenue Fund or funds appropriated from state trust funds.
(b) “Cash-equivalent compensation” means any benefit that may be assigned an equivalent cash value.
(c) “Remuneration” means salary, bonuses, and cash-equivalent compensation paid to a state university administrative employee by his or her employer for work performed, excluding health insurance benefits and retirement benefits.
(2) LIMITATION ON COMPENSATION.Notwithstanding any other law, resolution, or rule to the contrary, a state university administrative employee may not receive more than $200,000 in remuneration annually from appropriated state funds. Only compensation, as such term is defined in s. 121.021(22), provided to a state university administrative employee may be used in calculating benefits under chapter 121.
(3) EXCEPTIONS.This section does not prohibit any party from providing cash or cash-equivalent compensation from funds that are not appropriated state funds to a state university administrative employee in excess of the limit in subsection (2). If a party is unable or unwilling to fulfill an obligation to provide cash or cash-equivalent compensation to a state university administrative employee as permitted under this subsection, appropriated state funds may not be used to fulfill such obligation. This section does not apply to university teaching faculty or medical school faculty or staff.
History.s. 42, ch. 2011-63; s. 41, ch. 2012-134; s. 24, ch. 2013-45.
PART V
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
1012.98 School Community Professional Development Act.
1012.985 Regional professional development academies.
1012.986 William Cecil Golden Professional Development Program for School Leaders.
1012.98 School Community Professional Development Act.
(1) The Department of Education, public postsecondary educational institutions, public school districts, public schools, state education foundations, consortia, and professional organizations in this state shall work collaboratively to establish a coordinated system of professional development. The purpose of the professional development system is to increase student achievement, enhance classroom instructional strategies that promote rigor and relevance throughout the curriculum, and prepare students for continuing education and the workforce. The system of professional development must align to the standards adopted by the state and support the framework for standards adopted by the National Staff Development Council.
(2) The school community includes students and parents, administrative personnel, managers, instructional personnel, support personnel, members of district school boards, members of school advisory councils, business partners, and personnel that provide health and social services to students.
(3) The activities designed to implement this section must:
(a) Support and increase the success of educators through collaboratively developed school improvement plans that focus on:
1. Enhanced and differentiated instructional strategies to engage students in a rigorous and relevant curriculum based on state and local educational standards, goals, and initiatives;
2. Increased opportunities to provide meaningful relationships between teachers and all students; and
3. Increased opportunities for professional collaboration among and between teachers, certified school counselors, instructional leaders, postsecondary educators engaged in preservice training for new teachers, and the workforce community.
(b) Assist the school community in providing stimulating, scientific research-based educational activities that encourage and motivate students to achieve at the highest levels and to participate as active learners and that prepare students for success at subsequent educational levels and the workforce.
(c) Provide continuous support for all education professionals as well as temporary intervention for education professionals who need improvement in knowledge, skills, and performance.
(d) Provide middle grades instructional personnel and school administrators with the knowledge, skills, and best practices necessary to support excellence in classroom instruction and educational leadership.
(4) The Department of Education, school districts, schools, Florida College System institutions, and state universities share the responsibilities described in this section. These responsibilities include the following:
(a)1. The department shall disseminate to the school community research-based professional development methods and programs that have demonstrated success in meeting identified student needs. The Commissioner of Education shall use data on student achievement to identify student needs. The methods of dissemination must include a web-based statewide performance support system, including a database of exemplary professional development activities, a listing of available professional development resources, training programs, and available assistance.
2. The web-based statewide performance support system established pursuant to subparagraph 1. must include for middle grades, subject to appropriation, materials related to classroom instruction, including integrated digital instruction and competency-based instruction; CAPE Digital Tool certificates and CAPE industry certifications; classroom management; student behavior and interaction; extended learning opportunities for students; and instructional leadership.
(b) Each school district shall develop a professional development system as specified in subsection (3). The system shall be developed in consultation with teachers, teacher-educators of Florida College System institutions and state universities, business and community representatives, and local education foundations, consortia, and professional organizations. The professional development system must:
1. Be approved by the department. All substantial revisions to the system shall be submitted to the department for review for continued approval.
2. Be based on analyses of student achievement data and instructional strategies and methods that support rigorous, relevant, and challenging curricula for all students. Schools and districts, in developing and refining the professional development system, shall also review and monitor school discipline data; school environment surveys; assessments of parental satisfaction; performance appraisal data of teachers, managers, and administrative personnel; and other performance indicators to identify school and student needs that can be met by improved professional performance.
3. Provide inservice activities coupled with followup support appropriate to accomplish district-level and school-level improvement goals and standards. The inservice activities for instructional personnel shall focus on analysis of student achievement data, ongoing formal and informal assessments of student achievement, identification and use of enhanced and differentiated instructional strategies that emphasize rigor, relevance, and reading in the content areas, enhancement of subject content expertise, integrated use of classroom technology that enhances teaching and learning, classroom management, parent involvement, and school safety.
4. Include a master plan for inservice activities, pursuant to rules of the State Board of Education, for all district employees from all fund sources. The master plan shall be updated annually by September 1, must be based on input from teachers and district and school instructional leaders, and must use the latest available student achievement data and research to enhance rigor and relevance in the classroom. Each district inservice plan must be aligned to and support the school-based inservice plans and school improvement plans pursuant to s. 1001.42(18). Each district inservice plan must provide a description of the training that middle grades instructional personnel and school administrators receive on the district’s code of student conduct adopted pursuant to s. 1006.07; integrated digital instruction and competency-based instruction and CAPE Digital Tool certificates and CAPE industry certifications; classroom management; student behavior and interaction; extended learning opportunities for students; and instructional leadership. District plans must be approved by the district school board annually in order to ensure compliance with subsection (1) and to allow for dissemination of research-based best practices to other districts. District school boards must submit verification of their approval to the Commissioner of Education no later than October 1, annually. Each school principal may establish and maintain an individual professional development plan for each instructional employee assigned to the school as a seamless component to the school improvement plans developed pursuant to s. 1001.42(18). An individual professional development plan must be related to specific performance data for the students to whom the teacher is assigned, define the inservice objectives and specific measurable improvements expected in student performance as a result of the inservice activity, and include an evaluation component that determines the effectiveness of the professional development plan.
5. Include inservice activities for school administrative personnel that address updated skills necessary for instructional leadership and effective school management pursuant to s. 1012.986.
6. Provide for systematic consultation with regional and state personnel designated to provide technical assistance and evaluation of local professional development programs.
7. Provide for delivery of professional development by distance learning and other technology-based delivery systems to reach more educators at lower costs.
8. Provide for the continuous evaluation of the quality and effectiveness of professional development programs in order to eliminate ineffective programs and strategies and to expand effective ones. Evaluations must consider the impact of such activities on the performance of participating educators and their students’ achievement and behavior.
9. For middle grades, emphasize:
a. Interdisciplinary planning, collaboration, and instruction.
b. Alignment of curriculum and instructional materials to the state academic standards adopted pursuant to s. 1003.41.
c. Use of small learning communities; problem-solving, inquiry-driven research and analytical approaches for students; strategies and tools based on student needs; competency-based instruction; integrated digital instruction; and project-based instruction.

Each school that includes any of grades 6, 7, or 8 must include in its school improvement plan, required under s. 1001.42(18), a description of the specific strategies used by the school to implement each item listed in this subparagraph.

(5) Each district school board shall provide funding for the professional development system as required by s. 1011.62 and the General Appropriations Act, and shall direct expenditures from other funding sources to continuously strengthen the system in order to increase student achievement and support instructional staff in enhancing rigor and relevance in the classroom. A school district may coordinate its professional development program with that of another district, with an educational consortium, or with a Florida College System institution or university, especially in preparing and educating personnel. Each district school board shall make available inservice activities to instructional personnel of nonpublic schools in the district and the state certified teachers who are not employed by the district school board on a fee basis not to exceed the cost of the activity per all participants.
(6) An organization of private schools or consortium of charter schools which has no fewer than 10 member schools in this state, which publishes and files with the Department of Education copies of its standards, and the member schools of which comply with the provisions of part II of chapter 1003, relating to compulsory school attendance, may also develop a professional development system that includes a master plan for inservice activities. The system and inservice plan must be submitted to the commissioner for approval pursuant to state board rules.
(7)(a) The Department of Education shall disseminate, using web-based technology, research-based best practice methods by which the state and district school boards may evaluate and improve the professional development system. The best practices must include data that indicate the progress of all students. The department shall report annually to the State Board of Education and the Legislature any school district that, in the determination of the department, has failed to provide an adequate professional development system. This report must include the results of the department’s investigation and of any intervention provided.
(b) The department shall also disseminate, using web-based technology, professional development in the use of integrated digital instruction at schools that include middle grades. The professional development must provide training and materials that districts can use to provide instructional personnel with the necessary knowledge, skills, and strategies to effectively blend digital instruction into subject-matter curricula. The professional development must emphasize online learning and research techniques, reading instruction, the use of digital devices to supplement the delivery of curricular content to students, and digital device management and security. Districts are encouraged to incorporate the professional development as part of their professional development system.
(8) The State Board of Education may adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this section.
(9) This section does not limit or discourage a district school board from contracting with independent entities for professional development services and inservice education if the district school board can demonstrate to the Commissioner of Education that, through such a contract, a better product can be acquired or its goals for education improvement can be better met.
(10) For teachers, managers, and administrative personnel who have been evaluated as less than satisfactory, a district school board shall require participation in specific professional development programs as part of the improvement prescription.
(11) The department shall disseminate to the school community proven model professional development programs that have demonstrated success in increasing rigorous and relevant content, increasing student achievement and engagement, and meeting identified student needs. The methods of dissemination must include a web-based statewide performance-support system including a database of exemplary professional development activities, a listing of available professional development resources, training programs, and available technical assistance.
(12) The department shall require teachers in grades K-12 to participate in continuing education training provided by the Department of Children and Families on identifying and reporting child abuse and neglect.
History.s. 789, ch. 2002-387; s. 10, ch. 2003-118; s. 47, ch. 2003-391; s. 75, ch. 2004-41; s. 5, ch. 2004-255; s. 62, ch. 2006-74; s. 165, ch. 2007-217; s. 34, ch. 2008-108; s. 198, ch. 2011-5; s. 7, ch. 2012-155; s. 42, ch. 2013-27; s. 14, ch. 2013-89; s. 11, ch. 2013-185; s. 382, ch. 2014-19; s. 6, ch. 2014-32; s. 100, ch. 2014-39; s. 14, ch. 2014-184.
1012.985 Regional professional development academies.
(1) The intent of this section is to facilitate a system of professional development that provides a wide range of inservice training to teachers, managers, and administrative personnel which is designed to upgrade skills and knowledge needed to attain world class standards in education. The system shall consist of a network of professional development academies that are operated in partnership with area business partners to develop and deliver high-quality training programs for school districts. Each regional professional development academy must meet the human resource development needs of professional educators, schools, and school districts and shall:
(a) Support the collaborative efforts of one or more district school boards, members of the business community, and the postsecondary educational institutions which may award college credits for courses taught at the academy.
(b) Provide high-quality trainers and training and appropriate followup and coaching for all participants and support school personnel in increasing student achievement.
(c) Be operated under contract with its public partners. Contracts between district school boards and each regional professional development academy must require:
1. The academy’s independent board of directors to be responsible for the prudent use of all public and private funds and to ensure that those funds are used in accordance with applicable laws, bylaws, and contractual agreements.
2. The academy to retain proper documentation evidencing that district school board funds provided to the academy are expended for authorized purposes as prescribed in the contract and that services to district school boards are commensurate with the funds paid to the academy for those services. The academy’s records must be available for inspection by the district school board’s internal auditor and the Auditor General.
3. Each district school board to approve any participation by the academy in the district’s programs or services, including use of the district’s facilities, furnishings, equipment, other chattels, personnel, or services.
4. The academy to provide an annual report of its activities and expenditures to its independent board of directors and each party to the contract.
5. The academy to be annually audited by an independent certified public accountant retained and paid for by the academy and to provide a copy of the audit report to each party to the contract.
(d) Be governed by an independent board of directors, which should include at least one district school superintendent and one district school board chair from the participating school districts, the president of the collective bargaining unit that represents the majority of the region’s teachers, and at least three individuals who are not employees or elected or appointed officials of the participating school districts. Regional educational consortia as defined in s. 1001.451 satisfy the requirements of this paragraph.
(e) Provide professional development services for the participating school districts as specified in the contract and may provide professional development services to other school districts, private schools, and individuals on a fee-for-services basis.
(2) A regional professional development academy may:
(a) Receive funds from the Department of Education or as provided in the General Appropriations Act for the purpose of developing programs, expanding services, assessing inservice training and professional development, or other programs that are consistent with the mission of the academy and the needs of the state and region; and
(b) Receive, hold, invest, and administer property and any moneys acquired from private, local, state, and federal sources, as well as technical and professional income generated or derived from activities of the academy, for the benefit of the academy and the fulfillment of its mission. Income generated by school district personnel at the academy from trademarks, copyrights, and patents shall be shared between the academy and the district school board as outlined in the contract.
History.s. 790, ch. 2002-387; s. 1, ch. 2006-151; s. 4, ch. 2009-222.
1012.986 William Cecil Golden Professional Development Program for School Leaders.
(1) There is established the William Cecil Golden Professional Development Program for School Leaders to provide high standards and sustained support for principals as instructional leaders. The program shall consist of a collaborative network of state and national professional leadership organizations to respond to instructional leadership needs throughout the state. The network shall support the human-resource development needs of principals, principal leadership teams, and candidates for principal leadership positions using the framework of leadership standards adopted by the State Board of Education, the Southern Regional Education Board, and the National Staff Development Council. The goal of the network leadership program is to:
(a) Provide resources to support and enhance the principal’s role as the instructional leader.
(b) Maintain a clearinghouse and disseminate data-supported information related to enhanced student achievement, based on educational research and best practices.
(c) Build the capacity to increase the quality of programs for preservice education for aspiring principals and inservice professional development for principals and principal leadership teams.
(d) Support best teaching and research-based instructional practices through dissemination and modeling at the preservice and inservice levels for both teachers and principals.
(2) The Department of Education shall coordinate through the network identified in subsection (1) to offer the program through multiple delivery systems, including:
(a) Approved school district training programs.
(b) Interactive technology-based instruction.
(c) Regional consortium service organizations pursuant to s. 1001.451.
(d) State, regional, or local leadership academies.
(3) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this section.
History.s. 63, ch. 2006-74.
PART VI
INTERSTATE COMPACT ON QUALIFICATIONS
OF EDUCATIONAL PERSONNEL
1012.99 Interstate agreement on qualifications of educational personnel.
1012.991 Commissioner designated official.
1012.992 Copies of contracts with other states; depository.
1012.99 Interstate agreement on qualifications of educational personnel.The interstate agreement on qualifications of educational personnel is hereby enacted into law and entered into with all jurisdictions legally joining therein, in form substantially as follows:

ARTICLE I

PURPOSE, FINDINGS, AND POLICY

1. The states party to this agreement, desiring by common action to improve their respective school systems by utilizing the teacher or other professional educational person wherever educated, declare that it is the policy of each of them, on the basis of cooperation with one another, to take advantage of the preparation and experience of such persons wherever gained, thereby serving the best interests of society, of education, and of the teaching profession. It is the purpose of this agreement to provide for the development and execution of such programs of cooperation as will facilitate the movement of teachers and other professional educational personnel among the states party to it, and to authorize specific interstate educational personnel contracts to achieve that end.

2. The party states find that included in the large movement of population among all sections of the nation are many qualified educational personnel who move for family and other personal reasons but who are hindered in using their professional skill and experience in their new locations. Variations from state to state in requirements for qualifying educational personnel discourage such personnel from taking the steps necessary to qualify in other states. As a consequence, a significant number of professionally prepared and experienced educators is lost to our school systems. Facilitating the employment of qualified educational personnel, without reference to their states of origin, can increase the available educational resources. Participation in this compact can increase the availability of educational personnel.

ARTICLE II

DEFINITIONS

As used in this agreement and contracts made pursuant to it, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

1. “Educational personnel” means persons who must meet requirements pursuant to state law as a condition of employment in educational programs.

2. “Designated state official” means the education official of a state selected by that state to negotiate and enter into, on behalf of this state, contracts pursuant to this agreement.

3. “Accept,” or any variant thereof, means to recognize and give effect to one or more determinations of another state relating to the qualifications of educational personnel in lieu of making or requiring a like determination that would otherwise be required by or pursuant to the laws of a receiving state.

4. “State” means a state, territory, or possession of the United States; the district of Columbia; or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

5. “Originating state” means a state and the subdivision thereof, if any, whose determination that certain educational personnel are qualified to be employed for specific duties in schools is acceptable in accordance with the terms of a contract made pursuant to Article III.

6. “Receiving state” means a state and the subdivisions thereof which accept educational personnel in accordance with the terms of a contract made pursuant to Article III.

ARTICLE III

INTERSTATE EDUCATIONAL PERSONNEL CONTRACTS

1. The designated state official of a party state may make one or more contracts on behalf of his or her state with one or more other party states providing for the acceptance of educational personnel. Any such contract for the period of its duration shall be applicable to and binding on the states whose designated state officials enter into it, and the subdivisions of those states, with the same force and effect as if incorporated in this agreement. A designated state official may enter into a contract pursuant to this article only with states in which he or she finds that there are programs of education, certification standards or other acceptable qualifications that assure preparation or qualification of educational personnel on a basis sufficiently comparable, even though not identical to that prevailing in his or her own state.

2. Any such contract shall provide for:

(a) Its duration.

(b) The criteria to be applied by an originating state in qualifying educational personnel for acceptance by a receiving state.

(c) Such waivers, substitutions, and conditional acceptances as shall aid the practical effectuation of the contract without sacrifice of basic educational standards.

(d) Any other necessary matters.

3. No contract made pursuant to this agreement shall be for a term longer than five years but any such contract may be renewed for like or lesser periods.

4. Any contract dealing with acceptance of educational personnel on the basis of their having completed an educational program shall specify the earliest date or dates on which originating state approval of the program or programs involved can have occurred. No contract made pursuant to this agreement shall require acceptance by a receiving state or any persons qualified because of successful completion of a program prior to January 1, 1954.

5. The certification or other acceptance of a person who has been accepted pursuant to the terms of a contract shall not be revoked or otherwise impaired because the contract has expired or been terminated. However, any certificate or other qualifying document may be revoked or suspended on any ground which would be sufficient for revocation or suspension of a certificate or other qualifying document initially granted or approved in the receiving state.

6. A contract committee composed of the designated state officials of the contracting states or their representatives shall keep the contract under continuous review, study means of improving its administration, and report no less frequently than once a year to the heads of the appropriate education agencies of the contracting states.

ARTICLE IV

APPROVED AND ACCEPTED PROGRAMS

1. Nothing in this agreement shall be construed to repeal or otherwise modify any law or regulation of a party state relating to the approval of programs of educational preparation having effect solely on the qualification of educational personnel within that state.

2. To the extent that contracts made pursuant to this agreement deal with the educational requirements for the proper qualification of educational personnel, acceptance of a program of educational preparation shall be in accordance with such procedures and requirements as may be provided in the applicable contract.

ARTICLE V

INTERSTATE COOPERATION

The party states agree that:

1. They will, so far as practicable, prefer the making of multilateral contracts pursuant to Article III of this agreement.

2. They will facilitate and strengthen cooperation in interstate certification and other elements of educational personnel qualification and for this purpose shall cooperate with agencies, organizations, and associations interested in certification and other elements of educational personnel qualification.

ARTICLE VI

AGREEMENT EVALUATION

The designated state officials of any party states may meet from time to time as a group to evaluate progress under the agreement, and to formulate recommendations for changes.

ARTICLE VII

OTHER ARRANGEMENTS

Nothing in this agreement shall be construed to prevent or inhibit other arrangements or practices of any party state or states to facilitate the interchange of educational personnel.

ARTICLE VIII

EFFECT AND WITHDRAWAL

1. This agreement shall become effective when enacted into law by two states. Thereafter it shall become effective as to any state upon its enactment of this agreement.

2. Any party state may withdraw from this agreement by enacting a statute repealing the same, but no such withdrawal shall take effect until one year after the governor of the withdrawing state has given notice in writing of the withdrawal to the governors of all other party states.

3. No withdrawal shall relieve the withdrawing state of any obligation imposed upon it by a contract to which it is a party. The duration of contracts and the methods and conditions of withdrawal therefrom shall be those specified in their terms.

ARTICLE IX

CONSTRUCTION AND SEVERABILITY

This agreement shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate the purposes thereof. The provisions of this agreement shall be severable and if any phrase, clause, sentence or provision of this agreement is declared to be contrary to the constitution of any state or of the United States, or the application thereof to any government, agency, person, or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this agreement and the applicability thereof to any government, agency, person, or circumstance shall not be affected thereby. If this agreement shall be held contrary to the constitution of any state participating therein, the agreement shall remain in full force and effect as to the state affected as to all severable matters.

History.s. 792, ch. 2002-387.
1012.991 Commissioner designated official.For the purposes of the agreement set forth in Article IX, the “designated state official” for this state shall be the Commissioner of Education. The Commissioner of Education shall enter into contracts pursuant to Article III of the agreement only with the approval of the specific texts thereof by the State Board of Education.
History.s. 793, ch. 2002-387.
1012.992 Copies of contracts with other states; depository.Two copies of all contracts made on behalf of this state pursuant to the agreement set forth in Article IX shall be kept on file in the office of the Commissioner of Education and in the office of the Department of State. The Department of Education shall publish all such contracts in convenient form.
History.s. 794, ch. 2002-387.