2021 Florida Statutes (Including 2021B Session)
Education Practices Commission; authority to discipline.
Education Practices Commission; authority to discipline.
1012.795 Education Practices Commission; authority to discipline.—
(1) The Education Practices Commission may suspend the educator certificate of any instructional personnel or school administrator, 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 person 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 subsection (4); may permanently 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; may suspend a person’s educator certificate, upon an order of the court or notice by the Department of Revenue relating to the payment of child support; may direct the department to place a certificateholder employed by a public school, charter school, charter school governing board, or private school that participates in a state scholarship program under chapter 1002 on the disqualification list maintained by the department pursuant to s. 1001.10(4)(b) for misconduct that would render the person ineligible pursuant to s. 1012.315 or sexual misconduct with a student; 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, including engaging in or soliciting sexual, romantic, or lewd conduct with a student or minor.
(e) Has had an educator certificate or other professional license sanctioned by this or any other state or has had the authority to practice the regulated profession revoked, suspended, or otherwise acted against, including a denial of certification or licensure, by the licensing or certifying authority of any jurisdiction, including its agencies and subdivisions. The licensing or certifying authority’s acceptance of a relinquishment, stipulation, consent order, or other settlement offered in response to or in anticipation of the filing of charges against the licensee or certificateholder shall be construed as action against the license or certificate. For purposes of this section, a sanction or action against a professional license, a certificate, or an authority to practice a regulated profession must relate to being an educator or the fitness of or ability to be an educator.
(f) Has been convicted or found guilty of, has had adjudication withheld for, or has pled guilty or nolo contendere to 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.
(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.
(o) Has committed a third recruiting offense as determined by the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) pursuant to s. 1006.20(2)(b).
(p) Has violated test security as provided in s. 1008.24.
(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, private school, and the FHSAA shall report to the department the name of any person certified pursuant to this chapter:
(a) Who has been convicted or found guilty of, who has had adjudication withheld for, or who has pled guilty or 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.
(c) If the Department of Education determines that any instructional personnel or school administrator, as defined in s. 1012.01(2) or (3), respectively, has knowingly failed to report known or suspected child abuse as required under s. 39.201, and the Education Practices Commission has issued a final order for a previous instance of failure to report by the individual, the Education Practices Commission shall, at a minimum, suspend the educator certificate of the instructional personnel or school administrator for a period of at least 1 year.
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; s. 33, ch. 2016-237; s. 12, ch. 2018-150; s. 10, ch. 2021-138; s. 29, ch. 2021-170.