Florida Senate - 2015                                    SB 1262
       By Senator Legg
       17-00964A-15                                          20151262__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to education; amending s. 1003.576,
    3         F.S.; requiring the Department of Education to have an
    4         operating electronic IEP system in place for statewide
    5         use; amending s. 1005.22, F.S.; requiring the
    6         Commission for Independent Education to report certain
    7         data to the department annually by a certain date
    8         regarding institutions licensed by the commission;
    9         amending s. 1012.796, F.S.; authorizing the
   10         Commissioner of Education to issue a letter of
   11         guidance in response to a complaint against a teacher
   12         or administrator in lieu of a probable cause
   13         determination; providing an effective date.
   15  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   17         Section 1. Section 1003.576, Florida Statutes, is amended
   18  to read:
   19         1003.576 Individual education plans for exceptional
   20  students.—The Department of Education must develop and have an
   21  operating electronic IEP system in place for potential statewide
   22  use no later than July 1, 2007. The statewide system shall be
   23  developed collaboratively with school districts and must include
   24  input from school districts currently developing or operating
   25  electronic IEP systems.
   26         Section 2. Paragraph (i) of subsection (1) of section
   27  1005.22, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   28         1005.22 Powers and duties of commission.—
   29         (1) The commission shall:
   30         (i) Serve as a central agency for collecting and
   31  distributing current information regarding institutions licensed
   32  by the commission. The commission shall annually collect, and
   33  all institutions licensed by the commission shall annually
   34  report, student-level data from the prior year for each student
   35  who receives state funds, in a format prescribed by the
   36  Department of Education. At a minimum, data from the prior year
   37  must include retention rates, transfer rates, completion rates,
   38  graduation rates, employment and placement rates, and earnings
   39  of graduates. By October 1 of each year December 31, 2013, the
   40  commission shall report the data for the 2012-2013 academic year
   41  to the Department of Education. By October 1 of each year
   42  thereafter, the commission shall report the data to the
   43  department.
   44         Section 3. Subsection (3) of section 1012.796, Florida
   45  Statutes, is amended to read:
   46         1012.796 Complaints against teachers and administrators;
   47  procedure; penalties.—
   48         (3) The department staff shall advise the commissioner
   49  concerning the findings of the investigation. The department
   50  general counsel or members of that staff shall review the
   51  investigation and advise the commissioner concerning probable
   52  cause or lack thereof. The determination of probable cause shall
   53  be made by the commissioner. The commissioner shall provide an
   54  opportunity for a conference, if requested, prior to determining
   55  probable cause. The commissioner may enter into deferred
   56  prosecution agreements in lieu of finding probable cause if, in
   57  his or her judgment, such agreements are in the best interests
   58  of the department, the certificateholder, and the public. Such
   59  deferred prosecution agreements shall become effective when
   60  filed with the clerk of the Education Practices Commission.
   61  However, a deferred prosecution agreement may shall not be
   62  entered into if there is probable cause to believe that a felony
   63  or an act of moral turpitude, as defined by rule of the State
   64  Board of Education, has occurred. Upon finding no probable
   65  cause, the commissioner shall dismiss the complaint. In lieu of
   66  a finding of probable cause, the commissioner may also issue a
   67  letter of guidance to the educator.
   68         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2015.