(1) As used in this section, the term “educator preparation institute” means an institute created by a postsecondary institution or a qualified private provider and approved by the Department of Education.
(2)(a) Postsecondary institutions that are accredited or approved as described in State Board of Education rule may seek approval from the Department of Education to create educator preparation institutes for the purpose of providing any or all of the following:
1. Professional development instruction to assist teachers in improving classroom instruction and in meeting certification or recertification requirements.
2. Instruction to assist potential and existing substitute teachers in performing their duties.
3. Instruction to assist paraprofessionals in meeting education and training requirements.
4. Instruction for baccalaureate degree holders to become certified teachers as provided in this section in order to increase routes to the classroom for mid-career professionals who hold a baccalaureate degree and college graduates who were not education majors.
(b) A private provider that has a proven history of delivering high-quality teacher preparation, which is based on evidence provided from other state recipients of its services and data showing the successful performance of its completers based on student achievement, may seek approval to offer a competency-based certification program under subsection (3).
(3) Educator preparation institutes approved pursuant to this section may offer competency-based certification programs specifically designed for noneducation major baccalaureate degree holders to enable program participants to meet the educator certification requirements of s. 1012.56. An educator preparation institute choosing to offer a competency-based certification program pursuant to the provisions of this section must implement a program previously approved by the Department of Education for this purpose or a program developed by the institute and approved by the department for this purpose. Approved programs shall be available for use by other approved educator preparation institutes. 1(a) Within 90 days after receipt of a request for approval, the Department of Education shall approve a preparation program pursuant to the requirements of this subsection or issue a statement of the deficiencies in the request for approval. The department shall approve a certification program if the institute provides evidence of the institute’s capacity to implement a competency-based program that includes each of the following:
1.a. Participant instruction and assessment in the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices across content areas.
b. The use of state-adopted student content standards to guide curriculum and instruction.
c. Scientifically researched and evidence-based reading instructional strategies that improve reading performance for all students, including explicit, systematic, and sequential approaches to teaching phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and text comprehension and multisensory intervention strategies.
d. Content literacy and mathematical practices.
e. Strategies appropriate for instruction of English language learners.
f. Strategies appropriate for instruction of students with disabilities.
g. Strategies to differentiate instruction based on student needs.
h. The use of character-based classroom management.
2. An educational plan for each participant to meet certification requirements and demonstrate his or her ability to teach the subject area for which the participant is seeking certification, which is based on an assessment of his or her competency in the areas listed in subparagraph 1.
3. Field experiences appropriate to the certification subject area specified in the educational plan with a diverse population of students in a variety of challenging environments, including, but not limited to, high-poverty schools, urban schools, and rural schools, under the supervision of qualified educators.
4. A certification ombudsman to facilitate the process and procedures required for participants who complete the program to meet any requirements related to the background screening pursuant to s. 1012.32 and educator professional or temporary certification pursuant to s. 1012.56. (b) Each program participant must: 1. Meet certification requirements pursuant to s. 1012.56(1) by obtaining a statement of status of eligibility in the certification subject area of the educational plan and meet the requirements of s. 1012.56(2)(a)-(f).
2. Participate in coursework and field experiences that are appropriate to his or her educational plan prepared under paragraph (a).
3. Before completion of the program, fully demonstrate his or her ability to teach the subject area for which he or she is seeking certification by documenting a positive impact on student learning growth in a prekindergarten through grade 12 setting and achieving a passing score on the professional education competency examination, the basic skills examination, and the subject area examination for the subject area certification which is required by state board rule.
(c) Upon completion of all requirements for a certification program approved pursuant to this subsection, a participant shall receive a credential from the sponsoring institution signifying that the participant has completed a state-approved competency-based certification program in the certification subject area specified in the educational plan. A participant is eligible for educator certification through the Department of Education upon satisfaction of all requirements for certification set forth in s. 1012.56(2). (4) Continued approval of each program approved pursuant to this section shall be determined by the Commissioner of Education based upon a periodic review of the following areas:
(a) Documentation from the program that each program completer has met the requirements of paragraphs (3)(a)-(c).
(b) Evidence of performance in each of the following areas:
1. Placement rate of program completers into instructional positions in Florida public schools and private schools, if available.
2. Rate of retention for employed program completers in instructional positions in Florida public schools.
3. 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.
4. 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 diverse population of students in a variety of settings in Florida public schools.
5. Results of program completers’ annual evaluations in accordance with the timeline as set forth in s. 1012.34. 6. Production of program completers in statewide critical teacher shortage areas as identified in s. 1012.07. 1(5) Each institute approved pursuant to this section shall submit to the Department of Education annual performance evaluations that measure the effectiveness of the programs, including the pass rates of participants on all examinations required for teacher certification, employment rates, longitudinal retention rates, and satisfaction surveys of employers and candidates. The satisfaction surveys must be designed to measure the sufficient preparation of the educator for the realities of the classroom and the institute’s responsiveness to local school districts. These evaluations shall be used by the Department of Education for purposes of continued approval of an educator preparation institute’s certification program. (6) Instructors and supervisors of field experiences in which participants demonstrate an impact on student learning growth for a certification program approved pursuant to this section must meet the same qualifications as those required in s. 1004.04(5).
(7) Educator preparation institutes approved pursuant to this section and providing approved instructional programs for any of the purposes in subsection (2) are eligible for funding from federal and state funds, as appropriated by the Legislature.
(8) The State Board of Education may adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of this section, including performance targets for the measures used for continued program approval described in subsection (4). 1Note.—Section 24, ch. 2019-23, provides that:
“(1) The Department of Revenue is authorized, and all conditions are deemed to be met, to adopt emergency rules pursuant to s. 120.54(4), Florida Statutes, for the purpose of administering the provisions of this act relating to the Hope Scholarship Program and Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program.
“(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, emergency rules adopted pursuant to subsection (1) are effective for 6 months after adoption and may be renewed during the pendency of procedures to adopt permanent rules addressing the subject of the emergency rules.
“(3) This section shall take effect upon this act becoming a law and shall expire January 1, 2022.”