2004 Florida Statutes
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 a period of time not to exceed 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 a period of time not to exceed 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 order of the court, of any person found to have a delinquent child support obligation; or may impose any other penalty provided by law, provided it can be shown that the person:
(a) Obtained or attempted to obtain an educator certificate by fraudulent means.
(b) 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.
(c) Has been guilty of gross immorality or an act involving moral turpitude.
(d) Has had an educator certificate sanctioned by revocation, suspension, or surrender in another state.
(e) Has been convicted of a misdemeanor, felony, or any other criminal charge, other than a minor traffic violation.
(f) Upon investigation, has been found guilty of personal conduct which seriously reduces that person's effectiveness as an employee of the district school board.
(g) Has breached a contract, as provided in s. 1012.33(2).
(h) Has been the subject of a court order directing the Education Practices Commission to suspend the certificate as a result of a delinquent child support obligation.
(i) Has violated the Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession prescribed by State Board of Education rules.
(j) Has otherwise violated the provisions of law, the penalty for which is the revocation of the educator certificate.
(k) Has violated any order of the Education Practices Commission.
(l) 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
(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 which 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 a court order for a delinquent child support obligation may only be reinstated upon notice from the court that the party has complied with the terms of the court order.
(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.