Florida Senate - 2018                                     SB 944
       By Senator Montford
       3-00607-18                                             2018944__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the Teacher Scholarship Program;
    3         creating s. 1009.897, F.S.; establishing the Teacher
    4         Scholarship Program within the Department of
    5         Education; providing a purpose of, and the criteria
    6         for, student eligibility for the program; specifying
    7         duties of each postsecondary institution for the
    8         program; providing for disbursement of the scholarship
    9         awards; providing for stipends; specifying funding and
   10         the department’s authority to prorate awards under a
   11         certain circumstance; providing for rulemaking;
   12         providing an effective date.
   14  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   16         Section 1. Section 1009.897, Florida Statutes, is created
   17  to read:
   18         1009.897 The Teacher Scholarship Program.—
   19         (1) The Teacher Scholarship Program is established within
   20  the department to encourage students who exhibit academic
   21  excellence to pursue a career in education. The program shall
   22  provide scholarships to eligible students for upper-division
   23  undergraduate and graduate study. The program shall also provide
   24  a one-time stipend to students who complete their program of
   25  study and their first year of employment as a classroom teacher
   26  at a public school in this state.
   27         (2) To be eligible for an undergraduate scholarship under
   28  the program, a student must meet all of the following
   29  requirements:
   30         (a) Be a full-time, upper-division undergraduate student in
   31  a teacher-preparation program approved by the department
   32  pursuant to s. 1004.04.
   33         (b) The general student eligibility requirements for state
   34  financial aid as specified in s. 1009.40, except as otherwise
   35  provided in this section.
   36         (c) The following academic requirements:
   37         1. Earn an SAT score that corresponds to the 80th SAT
   38  percentile rank or a concordant ACT score; and
   39         2. Maintain a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point
   40  average of 3.25 on a 4.0 scale.
   41         (3)To be eligible for a graduate scholarship under the
   42  program, a student must meet all of the following requirements:
   43         (a) The criteria specified in paragraphs (2)(b) and (c).
   44         (b) Hold a bachelor’s degree from any college or university
   45  accredited by a regional accrediting association as defined by
   46  State Board of Education rule.
   47         (c) Be a full-time graduate student in an eligible
   48  postsecondary graduate teacher education program leading to a
   49  master’s, specialist, or doctoral degree.
   50         (d) Not have previously received a teaching certificate
   51  resulting from an undergraduate degree in education.
   52         (e) Not have received an undergraduate scholarship pursuant
   53  to this section.
   54         (4) Each postsecondary institution shall do all of the
   55  following:
   56         (a) By each September 1, certify to the department the
   57  names of students eligible for the program.
   58         (b) Throughout the academic year, notify the department of
   59  any scholarship recipient whose scholarship should be rescinded
   60  due to disenrollment from the teacher education program.
   61         (5)(a) An eligible undergraduate student may be awarded a
   62  scholarship of up to $5,000 per semester, not to exceed $10,000
   63  per year, for 2 undergraduate years or for a maximum of 3 years
   64  for a program that requires a fifth year of instruction to
   65  obtain an initial teaching certification.
   66         (b) An eligible graduate student may be awarded a
   67  scholarship of up to $5,000 per semester, not to exceed $10,000
   68  per year, for up to 2 years.
   69         (6)(a) A scholarship recipient may receive a one-time
   70  stipend of $10,000 after:
   71         1. Completing the teacher education program required under
   72  this section and earning a bachelor’s or graduate degree, as
   73  applicable;
   74         2. Notifying the department, in a manner prescribed by
   75  department rule, that he or she has been employed by a school
   76  district in this state as a classroom teacher as defined in s.
   77  1012.01(2); and
   78         3. Completing his or her first year of employment as a
   79  classroom teacher at a public school in this state.
   80         (b) No later than each June 1, the department shall
   81  disburse the stipend to each school district for an eligible
   82  candidate whose employment is confirmed as of May 1. A candidate
   83  who is hired after the first quarter of the academic year is
   84  eligible for a prorated stipend as determined by the department.
   85  A candidate may not receive both the stipend and an award under
   86  s. 1012.731.
   87         (7) This section shall be implemented only to the extent
   88  specifically funded and authorized by law. The department may
   89  prorate the scholarships and stipends authorized by this section
   90  if the appropriation is insufficient to fully fund each eligible
   91  student.
   92         (8) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to
   93  administer the program.
   94         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.