Florida Senate - 2013                                     SB 154
       By Senator Detert
       28-00128B-13                                           2013154__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to certified school counselors;
    3         requiring each school district to have an overall
    4         ratio of at least one certified school counselor for a
    5         specified number of students; requiring each
    6         elementary, middle, and high school within the school
    7         district to have a specified minimum ratio of
    8         certified school counselors to students; requiring
    9         each school to have a minimum of one full-time
   10         certified school counselor and assign additional half
   11         time or full-time certified school counselors only
   12         after reaching the maximum ratio; requiring each
   13         school district to include the ratio of certified
   14         school counselors to students in its annual audit and
   15         to adopt rules; providing the duties of certified
   16         school counselors; amending ss. 322.091, 381.0057,
   17         1002.3105, 1003.21, 1003.43, 1003.491, 1004.04,
   18         1006.025, 1007.35, 1008.42, 1009.53, 1012.71, and
   19         1012.98, F.S.; revising provisions to conform to
   20         changes made by the act; amending s. 1012.01, F.S.;
   21         prohibiting certified school counselors from being
   22         used as support staff for administrative duties;
   23         providing an effective date.
   25  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   27         Section 1. Certified school counselors in public schools;
   28  duties.—
   29         (1)(a) Each school district shall have an overall ratio of
   30  at least one certified school counselor for every 300 students,
   31  with each elementary school having at least one certified school
   32  counselor for every 350 students, each middle school having at
   33  least one certified school counselor for every 300 students, and
   34  each high school having at least one certified school counselor
   35  for every 250 students.
   36         (b) Each school shall have a minimum of one full-time
   37  certified school counselor and shall assign additional half-time
   38  or full-time certified school counselors only after reaching the
   39  overall ratio provided in paragraph (a).
   40         (c) Each school district shall include the ratio of
   41  certified school counselors to students in its annual audit and
   42  shall adopt rules outlining the duties of certified school
   43  counselors which are commensurate with their training and
   44  certification and pursuant to the requirements in s.
   45  1012.01(2)(b), Florida Statutes.
   46         (2) Each certified school counselor shall provide
   47  counseling to students; develop and deliver curriculum at the
   48  appropriate grade level; coordinate activities and programs for
   49  each curriculum; and consult with school administrators,
   50  teachers, parents, and students.
   51         Section 2. Paragraph (b) of subsection (3) of section
   52  322.091, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   53         322.091 Attendance requirements.—
   54         (3) HARDSHIP WAIVER AND APPEAL.—
   55         (b) The public school principal, the principal’s designee,
   56  or the designee of the governing body of a private school shall
   57  waive the requirements of subsection (1) for any minor under the
   58  school’s jurisdiction for whom a personal or family hardship
   59  requires that the minor have a driver’s license for his or her
   60  own, or his or her family’s, employment or medical care. The
   61  minor or the minor’s parent or guardian may present other
   62  evidence that indicates compliance with the requirements of
   63  subsection (1) at the waiver hearing. The public school
   64  principal, the principal’s designee, or the designee of the
   65  governing body of a private school shall consider take into
   66  consideration the recommendations of teachers, other school
   67  officials, certified school guidance counselors, or academic
   68  advisers before waiving the requirements of subsection (1).
   69         Section 3. Paragraph (b) of subsection (3) of section
   70  381.0057, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   71         381.0057 Funding for school health services.—
   72         (3) Any school district, school, or laboratory school which
   73  desires to receive state funding under the provisions of this
   74  section shall submit a proposal to the joint committee
   75  established in subsection (2). The proposal shall state the
   76  goals of the program, provide specific plans for reducing
   77  teenage pregnancy, and describe all of the health services to be
   78  available to students with funds provided pursuant to this
   79  section, including a combination of initiatives such as health
   80  education, counseling, extracurricular, and self-esteem
   81  components. School health services shall not promote elective
   82  termination of pregnancy as a part of counseling services. Only
   83  those program proposals which have been developed jointly by
   84  county health departments and local school districts or schools,
   85  and which have community and parental support, shall be eligible
   86  for funding. Funding shall be available specifically for
   87  implementation of one of the following programs:
   88         (b) Student support services team program.—The program
   89  shall include a multidisciplinary team composed of a
   90  psychologist, social worker, and nurse whose responsibilities
   91  are to provide basic support services and to assist, in the
   92  school setting, children who exhibit mild to severely complex
   93  health, behavioral, or learning problems affecting their school
   94  performance. Support services shall include, but not be limited
   95  to: evaluation and treatment for minor illnesses and injuries,
   96  referral and followup for serious illnesses and emergencies,
   97  onsite care and consultation, referral to a physician, and
   98  followup care for pregnancy or chronic diseases and disorders as
   99  well as emotional or mental problems. Services also shall
  100  include referral care for drug and alcohol abuse and sexually
  101  transmitted diseases, sports and employment physicals,
  102  immunizations, and in addition, effective preventive services
  103  aimed at delaying early sexual involvement and aimed at
  104  pregnancy, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, sexually
  105  transmitted diseases, and destructive lifestyle conditions, such
  106  as alcohol and drug abuse. Moneys for this program shall be used
  107  to fund three teams, each consisting of one half-time
  108  psychologist, one full-time nurse, and one full-time social
  109  worker. Each team shall provide student support services to an
  110  elementary school, middle school, and high school that are a
  111  part of one feeder school system and shall coordinate all
  112  activities with the school administrator and certified school
  113  guidance counselor at each school. A program that which places
  114  all three teams in middle schools or high schools may also be
  115  proposed.
  117  Funding may also be available for any other program that is
  118  comparable to a program described in this subsection but is
  119  designed to meet the particular needs of the community.
  120         Section 4. Paragraph (e) of subsection (3) of section
  121  1002.3105, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  122         1002.3105 Academically Challenging Curriculum to Enhance
  123  Learning (ACCEL) options.—
  124         (3) STUDENT ELIGIBILITY CONSIDERATIONS.—When establishing
  125  student eligibility requirements, principals and school
  126  districts must consider, at a minimum:
  127         (e) A recommendation from a certified school guidance
  128  counselor if one is assigned to the school in which the student
  129  is enrolled.
  130         Section 5. Paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of section
  131  1003.21, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  132         1003.21 School attendance.—
  133         (1)
  134         (c) A student who attains the age of 16 years during the
  135  school year is not subject to compulsory school attendance
  136  beyond the date upon which he or she attains that age if the
  137  student files a formal declaration of intent to terminate school
  138  enrollment with the district school board. Public school
  139  students who have attained the age of 16 years and who have not
  140  graduated are subject to compulsory school attendance until the
  141  formal declaration of intent is filed with the district school
  142  board. The declaration must acknowledge that terminating school
  143  enrollment is likely to reduce the student’s earning potential
  144  and must be signed by the student and the student’s parent. The
  145  school district shall must notify the student’s parent of
  146  receipt of the student’s declaration of intent to terminate
  147  school enrollment. The student’s certified school guidance
  148  counselor or other school personnel shall must conduct an exit
  149  interview with the student to determine the reasons for the
  150  student’s decision to terminate school enrollment and actions
  151  that could be taken to keep the student in school. The student’s
  152  certified school counselor or other school personnel shall
  153  inform the student must be informed of opportunities to continue
  154  his or her education in a different environment, including, but
  155  not limited to, adult education and GED test preparation.
  156  Additionally, the student shall must complete a survey in a
  157  format prescribed by the Department of Education to provide data
  158  on student reasons for terminating enrollment and actions taken
  159  by schools to keep students enrolled.
  160         Section 6. Paragraph (d) of subsection (7) of section
  161  1003.43, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  162         1003.43 General requirements for high school graduation.—
  163         (7) No student may be granted credit toward high school
  164  graduation for enrollment in the following courses or programs:
  165         (d) Any Level I course unless the student’s assessment
  166  indicates that a more rigorous course of study would be
  167  inappropriate, in which case a written assessment of the need
  168  must be included in the student’s individual educational plan or
  169  in a student performance plan, signed by the principal, the
  170  certified school guidance counselor, and the parent of the
  171  student, or the student if the student is 18 years of age or
  172  older.
  173         Section 7. Subsection (3) and paragraph (a) of subsection
  174  (4) of section 1003.491, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  175         1003.491 Florida Career and Professional Education Act.—The
  176  Florida Career and Professional Education Act is created to
  177  provide a statewide planning partnership between the business
  178  and education communities in order to attract, expand, and
  179  retain targeted, high-value industry and to sustain a strong,
  180  knowledge-based economy.
  181         (3) The strategic 3-year plan developed jointly by the
  182  local school district, regional workforce boards, economic
  183  development agencies, and state-approved postsecondary
  184  institutions shall be constructed and based on:
  185         (a) Research conducted to objectively determine local and
  186  regional workforce needs for the ensuing 3 years, using labor
  187  projections of the United States Department of Labor and the
  188  Department of Economic Opportunity;
  189         (b) Strategies to develop and implement career academies or
  190  career-themed courses based on those careers determined to be
  191  high-wage, high-skill, and high-demand;
  192         (c) Strategies to provide shared, maximum use of private
  193  sector facilities and personnel;
  194         (d) Strategies that ensure instruction by industry
  195  certified faculty and standards and strategies to maintain
  196  current industry credentials and for recruiting and retaining
  197  faculty to meet those standards;
  198         (e) Strategies to provide personalized student advisement,
  199  including a parent-participation component, and coordination
  200  with middle schools to promote and support career-themed courses
  201  and education planning as required under s. 1003.4156;
  202         (f) Alignment of requirements for middle school career
  203  planning under s. 1003.4156(1)(a)5., middle and high school
  204  career and professional academies or career-themed courses
  205  leading to industry certification or postsecondary credit, and
  206  high school graduation requirements;
  207         (g) Provisions to ensure that career-themed courses and
  208  courses offered through career and professional academies are
  209  academically rigorous, meet or exceed appropriate state-adopted
  210  subject area standards, result in attainment of industry
  211  certification, and, when appropriate, result in postsecondary
  212  credit;
  213         (h) Plans to sustain and improve career-themed courses and
  214  career and professional academies;
  215         (i) Strategies to improve the passage rate for industry
  216  certification examinations if the rate falls below 50 percent;
  217         (j) Strategies to recruit students into career-themed
  218  courses and career and professional academies which include
  219  opportunities for students who have been unsuccessful in
  220  traditional classrooms but who are interested in enrolling in
  221  career-themed courses or a career and professional academy.
  222  School boards shall provide opportunities for students who may
  223  be deemed as potential dropouts to enroll in career-themed
  224  courses or participate in career and professional academies;
  225         (k) Strategies to provide sufficient space within academies
  226  to meet workforce needs and to provide access to all interested
  227  and qualified students;
  228         (l) Strategies to implement career-themed courses or career
  229  and professional academy training that lead to industry
  230  certification in juvenile justice education programs;
  231         (m) Opportunities for high school students to earn weighted
  232  or dual enrollment credit for higher-level career and technical
  233  courses;
  234         (n) Promotion of the benefits of the Gold Seal Bright
  235  Futures Scholarship;
  236         (o) Strategies to ensure the review of district pupil
  237  progression plans and to amend such plans to include career
  238  themed courses and career and professional academy courses and
  239  to include courses that may qualify as substitute courses for
  240  core graduation requirements and those that may be counted as
  241  elective courses;
  242         (p) Strategies to provide professional development for
  243  secondary certified school guidance counselors on the benefits
  244  of career and professional academies and career-themed courses
  245  that lead to industry certification; and
  246         (q) Strategies to redirect appropriated career funding in
  247  secondary and postsecondary institutions to support career
  248  academies and career-themed courses that lead to industry
  249  certification.
  250         (4) The State Board of Education shall establish a process
  251  for the continual and uninterrupted review of newly proposed
  252  core secondary courses and existing courses requested to be
  253  considered as core courses to ensure that sufficient rigor and
  254  relevance is provided for workforce skills and postsecondary
  255  education and aligned to state curriculum standards.
  256         (a) The review of newly proposed core secondary courses
  257  shall be the responsibility of a curriculum review committee
  258  whose membership is approved by Workforce Florida, Inc., and
  259  shall include:
  260         1. Three certified high school guidance counselors
  261  recommended by the Florida Association of Student Services
  262  Administrators.
  263         2. Three assistant superintendents for curriculum and
  264  instruction, recommended by the Florida Association of District
  265  School Superintendents and who serve in districts that operate
  266  successful career and professional academies pursuant to s.
  267  1003.492 or a successful series of courses that lead to industry
  268  certification. Committee members in this category shall employ
  269  the expertise of appropriate subject area specialists in the
  270  review of proposed courses.
  271         3. Three workforce representatives recommended by the
  272  Department of Economic Opportunity.
  273         4. Three admissions directors of postsecondary institutions
  274  accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools,
  275  representing both public and private institutions.
  276         5. The Commissioner of Education, or his or her designee,
  277  responsible for K-12 curriculum and instruction. The
  278  commissioner shall employ the expertise of appropriate subject
  279  area specialists in the review of proposed courses.
  280         Section 8. Paragraph (f) of subsection (5) of section
  281  1004.04, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  282         1004.04 Public accountability and state approval for
  283  teacher preparation programs.—
  284         (5) CONTINUED PROGRAM APPROVAL.—Notwithstanding subsection
  285  (4), failure by a public or nonpublic teacher preparation
  286  program to meet the criteria for continued program approval
  287  shall result in loss of program approval. The Department of
  288  Education, in collaboration with the departments and colleges of
  289  education, shall develop procedures for continued program
  290  approval that document the continuous improvement of program
  291  processes and graduates’ performance.
  292         (f)1. Each Florida public and private institution that
  293  offers a state-approved teacher preparation program must
  294  annually report information regarding these programs to the
  295  state and the general public. This information shall be reported
  296  in a uniform and comprehensible manner that is consistent with
  297  definitions and methods approved by the Commissioner of the
  298  National Center for Educational Statistics and that is approved
  299  by the State Board of Education. This information must include,
  300  at a minimum:
  301         a. The percent of graduates obtaining full-time teaching
  302  employment within the first year of graduation.
  303         b. The average length of stay of graduates in their full
  304  time teaching positions.
  305         c. Satisfaction ratings required in paragraph (e).
  306         2. Each public and private institution offering training
  307  for school readiness related professions, including training in
  308  the fields of child care and early childhood education, whether
  309  offering career credit, associate in applied science degree
  310  programs, associate in science degree programs, or associate in
  311  arts degree programs, shall annually report information
  312  regarding these programs to the state and the general public in
  313  a uniform and comprehensible manner that conforms with
  314  definitions and methods approved by the State Board of
  315  Education. This information must include, at a minimum:
  316         a. Average length of stay of graduates in their positions.
  317         b. Satisfaction ratings of graduates’ employers.
  319  This information shall be reported through publications,
  320  including college and university catalogs and promotional
  321  materials sent to potential applicants, certified secondary
  322  school guidance counselors, and prospective employers of the
  323  institution’s program graduates.
  324         Section 9. Paragraphs (a) and (c) of subsection (2) of
  325  section 1006.025, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  326         1006.025 Guidance services.—
  327         (2) The guidance report shall include, but not be limited
  328  to, the following:
  329         (a) Examination of student access to certified school
  330  guidance counselors.
  331         (c) Evaluation of the information and training available to
  332  certified school guidance counselors and career specialists to
  333  advise students on areas of critical need, labor market trends,
  334  and technical training requirements.
  335         Section 10. Paragraph (a) of subsection (5) of section
  336  1007.35, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  337         1007.35 Florida Partnership for Minority and
  338  Underrepresented Student Achievement.—
  339         (5) Each public high school, including, but not limited to,
  340  schools and alternative sites and centers of the Department of
  341  Juvenile Justice, shall provide for the administration of the
  342  Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test
  343  (PSAT/NMSQT), or Preliminary ACT (PLAN) to all enrolled 10th
  344  grade students. However, a written notice shall be provided to
  345  each parent that shall include the opportunity to exempt his or
  346  her child from taking the PSAT/NMSQT or PLAN.
  347         (a) Test results will provide each high school with a
  348  database of student assessment data which certified school
  349  guidance counselors will use to identify students who are
  350  prepared or who need additional work to be prepared to enroll
  351  and be successful in AP courses or other advanced high school
  352  courses.
  353         Section 11. Paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section
  354  1008.42, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  355         1008.42 Public information on career education programs.—
  356         (2) The dissemination shall be conducted in accordance with
  357  the following procedures:
  358         (b)1. Each district school board shall publish, at a
  359  minimum, the most recently available placement rate for each
  360  career certificate program conducted by that school district at
  361  the secondary school level and at the career degree level. The
  362  placement rates for the preceding 3 years shall be published, if
  363  available, shall be included in each publication that informs
  364  the public of the availability of the program, and shall be made
  365  available to each certified school guidance counselor. If a
  366  program does not have a placement rate, a publication that lists
  367  or describes that program must state that the rate is
  368  unavailable.
  369         2. Each Florida College System institution shall publish,
  370  at a minimum, the most recent placement rate for each career
  371  certificate program and for each career degree program in its
  372  annual catalog. The placement rates for the preceding 3 years
  373  shall be published, if available, and shall be included in any
  374  publication that informs the public of the availability of the
  375  program. If a program does not have a placement rate, the
  376  publication that lists or describes that program must state that
  377  the rate is unavailable.
  378         3. If a school district or a Florida College System
  379  institution has calculated for a program a placement rate that
  380  differs from the rate reported by the department, and if each
  381  record of a placement was obtained through a process that was
  382  capable of being audited, procedurally sound, and consistent
  383  statewide, the district or the Florida College System
  384  institution may use the locally calculated placement rate in the
  385  report required by this section. However, that rate may not be
  386  combined with the rate maintained in the computer files of the
  387  Department of Education’s Florida Education and Training
  388  Placement Information Program.
  389         4. An independent career, trade, or business school may not
  390  publish a placement rate unless the placement rate was
  391  determined as provided by this section.
  392         Section 12. Subsection (3) of section 1009.53, Florida
  393  Statutes, is amended to read:
  394         1009.53 Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program.—
  395         (3) The Department of Education shall administer the Bright
  396  Futures Scholarship Program according to rules and procedures
  397  established by the State Board of Education. A single
  398  application must be sufficient for a student to apply for any of
  399  the three types of awards. The department shall must advertise
  400  the availability of the scholarship program and shall must
  401  notify students, teachers, parents, certified school guidance
  402  counselors, and principals or other relevant school
  403  administrators of the criteria and application procedures. The
  404  department must begin this process of notification no later than
  405  January 1 of each year.
  406         Section 13. Paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section
  407  1012.01, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  408         1012.01 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the following
  409  terms have the following meanings:
  410         (2) INSTRUCTIONAL PERSONNEL.—“Instructional personnel”
  411  means any K-12 staff member whose function includes the
  412  provision of direct instructional services to students.
  413  Instructional personnel also includes K-12 personnel whose
  414  functions provide direct support in the learning process of
  415  students. Included in the classification of instructional
  416  personnel are the following K-12 personnel:
  417         (b) Student personnel services.—Student personnel services
  418  include staff members responsible for: advising students with
  419  regard to their abilities and aptitudes, educational and
  420  occupational opportunities, and personal and social adjustments;
  421  providing placement services; performing educational
  422  evaluations; and similar functions. Included in this
  423  classification are certified school guidance counselors, social
  424  workers, career specialists, and school psychologists. Certified
  425  school counselors shall perform only the duties and functions as
  426  provided by law and may not be used as support staff for
  427  administrative duties, including, but not limited to,
  428  coordinating, administering, or monitoring academic testing and
  429  testing programs, working bus or cafeteria lines, or substitute
  430  teaching.
  431         Section 14. Subsection (1) of section 1012.71, Florida
  432  Statutes, is amended to read:
  433         1012.71 The Florida Teachers Lead Program.—
  434         (1) For purposes of the Florida Teachers Lead Program, the
  435  term “classroom teacher” means a certified teacher employed by a
  436  public school district or a public charter school in that
  437  district on or before September 1 of each year whose full-time
  438  or job-share responsibility is the classroom instruction of
  439  students in prekindergarten through grade 12, including full
  440  time media specialists and certified school guidance counselors
  441  serving students in prekindergarten through grade 12, who are
  442  funded through the Florida Education Finance Program. A “job
  443  share” classroom teacher is one of two teachers whose combined
  444  full-time equivalent employment for the same teaching assignment
  445  equals one full-time classroom teacher.
  446         Section 15. Paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of section
  447  1012.98, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  448         1012.98 School Community Professional Development Act.—
  449         (3) The activities designed to implement this section must:
  450         (a) Support and increase the success of educators through
  451  collaboratively developed school improvement plans that focus
  452  on:
  453         1. Enhanced and differentiated instructional strategies to
  454  engage students in a rigorous and relevant curriculum based on
  455  state and local educational standards, goals, and initiatives;
  456         2. Increased opportunities to provide meaningful
  457  relationships between teachers and all students; and
  458         3. Increased opportunities for professional collaboration
  459  among and between teachers, certified school guidance
  460  counselors, instructional leaders, postsecondary educators
  461  engaged in preservice training for new teachers, and the
  462  workforce community.
  463         Section 16. This act shall take effect July 1, 2013.