CS/CS/SB 7030 — Implementation of Legislative Recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission
by Appropriations Committee; Infrastructure and Security Committee; and Education Committee
This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.
Prepared by: Education Committee (ED)
The bill addresses the school safety and security recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, and strengthens accountability and compliance oversight authority.
The bill enhances school security measures. Specifically, the bill:
- Requires sheriffs to assist district school boards and charter school governing boards in complying with safe-school officer requirements, including providing guardian training either directly or through a contract with another sheriff’s office under specified circumstances.
- Requires district school boards to collaborate with charter school governing boards to facilitate charter school access to all safe-school officer options. If a district school board denies a charter school access to any of the safe-school officer options, the school district must assign a school resource officer or school safety officer to the charter school and retain the charter school’s share of the costs from the safe schools allocation.
- Delineates that the four safe-school officer options include a school resource officer, a school safety officer, school guardian, and a school security guard. The bill specifies that:
- A school guardian may be a school district employee or a charter school employee who volunteers to serve as a school guardian in addition to his or her official job duties or an employee of a school district or a charter school who is hired for the specific purpose of serving as a school guardian. The bill removes the prohibition on an individual who exclusively performs duties as a classroom teacher from participating in the guardian program.
- A school security guard must hold a Class “D” and Class “G” license in accordance with the law and meet the training requirements equivalent to that of a school guardian as a safe-school officer.
- Continues to require a district school board to opt-in to the guardian program through a majority vote and require employees who volunteer to pass a psychological evaluation and complete 144 hours of required training. The bill also requires the employee to complete the required training to the Sheriff’s satisfaction and then be appointed by the superintendent or charter school principal, as applicable.
- Applies the penalties specified in law relating to the false personation of a law enforcement officer to the false personation of a school guardian and a licensed security officer.
The bill improves student safety by establishing information sharing and reporting requirements for district school boards and charter school governing boards, including responses to emergency situations, safety incident reporting, data collection, and data sharing. Specifically, the bill:
- Requires each district school board and charter school governing board to adopt an active assailant response plan; and annually by October 1, requires each district school superintendent and charter school principal to certify that all school personnel have received annual training on the procedures contained in the plan.
- Requires drills for active shooter and hostage situations to be conducted in accordance with developmentally appropriate and age-appropriate procedures.
- Requires each district school board to define criteria for reporting to a law enforcement agency any act that poses a threat to school safety as well as acts of misconduct which are not a threat to school safety and do not require consultation with law enforcement.
- Requires that the Florida Safe Schools Assessment Tool (FSSAT) be the primary physical site security assessment tool used by school officials at each school district and public school site in conducting security assessments; and requires each school district to report to the Department of Education (DOE) by October 15 that all schools within the district have completed the school security risk assessment using the FSSAT.
- Enhances oversight and enforcement as it relates to School Environmental and Safety Incident Reporting (SESIR) by requiring school districts and charter schools to report specified incidents; and requires the OSS to collect, review, and evaluate data regarding the reports to ensure compliance with the reporting requirements.
- Requires district school boards and charter schools to promote the use of the mobile suspicious activity reporting tool by advertising the tool on its website, school campuses, newsletters, and install the application on all mobile devices and bookmark the website on all computer devices issued to students.
- Modifies requirements relating to new student registration and transfer of student records by clarifying the mental health services-related reporting requirements at the time of initial registration and specifying the information that must be transferred from one public school to another upon a student’s transfer.
The bill modifies requirements relating to school district threat assessment teams by:
- Requiring the threat assessment team to use the behavioral threat assessment instrument that is developed by the OSS in accordance with the law.
- Requiring, upon a student’s transfer to a different school, a threat assessment team to verify that any intervention services provided to the student remain in place until the threat assessment team of the receiving school independently determines the need for intervention services.
The bill adds authority and responsibilities for the OSS. Specifically, the bill requires the OSS to:
- Annually publish a list including information about the number of safe-school officers in the state and information related to disciplinary incidents involving such officers.
- Make the FSSAT available annually by May 1, and provide annual training to each district’s school safety specialist and other appropriate personnel on the assessment of physical site school security and completing the FSSAT.
- Specifies additional data that must be included in the centralized integrated data repository in coordination with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).
- Develop, no later than August 1, 2019, a standardized, statewide behavioral threat assessment instrument for use by all K-12 public schools and evaluate, by August 1, 2020, each school district’s and charter school governing board’s behavioral threat assessment procedures for compliance with the law.
- Establish a Statewide Threat Assessment Database Workgroup to complement the work of the DOE and the FDLE associated with the centralized integrated data repository and data analytics resources initiative. The workgroup must make recommendations regarding the development of a statewide threat assessment database to provide access to information about any school threat assessment to authorized personnel in each school district. The workgroup must provide a report to the OSS with recommendations that include specified components, no later than December 31, 2019.
- Convene a School Hardening and Harm Mitigation Workgroup comprised of individuals with subject matter expertise on school campus hardening best practices to review school hardening and harm mitigation policies, and submit a report to the executive director of the OSS by August 1, 2020, including a prioritized list for the implementation of school campus hardening and harm mitigation strategies, and related estimated costs and timeframes. The bill also specifies reporting requirements and related deadlines for the OSS and the Commissioner of Education regarding recommendations for policy and funding enhancements and strategies for implementing school campus hardening.
- Monitor school district and charter school compliance with school safety requirements.
School District Funding
The bill provides funding opportunities to enhance school safety and security, and to provide additional mental health services to students. Specifically, the bill:
- Retroactively provides school districts with flexibility for expending 2018-2019 fiscal year safe schools allocation funds for employing or contracting for safe-school officers.
- Provides school districts with greater flexibility to improve school safety by authorizing the transfer of categorical funds within the Florida Education Finance Program towards school safety expenditures, and expands authorized uses of the safe schools allocation.
- Expands the authorized uses of the mental health assistance allocation, provides school district flexibility for expenditures, and requires a program and expenditure plan for school districts and charter schools.
If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect upon becoming law, except for the provisions related to the safe schools allocation and mental health allocation which are effective July 1, 2019, and the retroactive funding provisions related to the 2018-2019 safe schools allocation.
Vote: Senate 22-17; House 65-47