Florida Senate - 2015                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 888
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                   Comm: WD            .                                
                  04/08/2015           .                                

       Appropriations Subcommittee on Education (Simmons) recommended
       the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete lines 30 - 98
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 2. Section 1012.731, Florida Statutes, is created
    6  to read:
    7         1012.731 The Florida Best and Brightest Teacher Scholarship
    8  Program.—
    9         (1) The Legislature recognizes that, second only to
   10  parents, teachers play the most critical role in preparing
   11  students to achieve a high level of academic performance in
   12  school. The Legislature further recognizes that research has
   13  linked student outcomes to a teacher’s own academic achievement.
   14  Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature to designate
   15  teachers who have achieved high academic standards during their
   16  own education as Florida’s best and brightest teacher scholars.
   17         (2) There is created the Florida Best and Brightest Teacher
   18  Scholarship Program to be administered by the Department of
   19  Education. Beginning in the 2015-2016 school year, the
   20  scholarship program shall provide categorical funding for
   21  scholarships to be awarded to teachers who have demonstrated a
   22  high level of academic achievement.
   23         (3)(a) To be eligible for a scholarship, a teacher:
   24         1. Must have scored at or above the 80th percentile on
   25  either the SAT or the ACT, based upon the percentile ranks in
   26  effect when the teacher took the assessment, and have been
   27  evaluated as highly effective pursuant to s. 1012.34; or
   28         2. If the teacher is a first-year teacher who has not been
   29  evaluated pursuant to s. 1012.34, must have scored at or above
   30  the 80th percentile on either the SAT or the ACT, based upon the
   31  percentile ranks in effect when the teacher took the assessment.
   32         (b) In order to demonstrate eligibility for an award, an
   33  eligible teacher must submit to the school district no later
   34  than October 1 an official record of his or her SAT or ACT score
   35  demonstrating that the teacher scored at or above the 80th
   36  percentile, based upon the percentile ranks in effect when the
   37  teacher took the assessment. Once a teacher is deemed eligible
   38  by the school district, the teacher shall remain eligible as
   39  long as he or she is employed by the school district and
   40  maintains or, if the teacher is a first-year teacher, earns the
   41  evaluation designation of highly effective pursuant to s.
   42  1012.34.
   43         (4) Annually, by December 1, each school district shall
   44  submit to the department the number of eligible teachers who
   45  qualify for the scholarship.
   46         (5) Annually, by February 1, the department shall disburse
   47  scholarship funds, in an amount prescribed annually by the
   48  Legislature in the General Appropriations Act, to each school
   49  district for each eligible teacher to receive a scholarship. If
   50  the number of eligible teachers exceeds the total appropriation
   51  authorized in the General Appropriation Act, the department
   52  shall prorate the per teacher scholarship amount.
   53         (6) Annually, by April 1, each school district shall
   54  provide payment of the scholarship to each eligible teacher.
   55         (7) For purposes of this section, the term “school
   56  district” includes the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind
   57  and charter school governing boards.
   58         Section 3. Subsection (3) of section 1012.39, Florida
   59  Statutes, is amended to read:
   60         1012.39 Employment of substitute teachers, teachers of
   61  adult education, nondegreed teachers of career education, and
   62  career specialists; students performing clinical field
   63  experience.—
   64         (3) A student who is enrolled in a state-approved teacher
   65  preparation program in a postsecondary educational institution
   66  that is approved by rules of the State Board of Education and
   67  who is jointly assigned by the postsecondary educational
   68  institution and a district school board to perform a clinical
   69  field experience under the direction of a regularly employed and
   70  certified educator shall, while serving such supervised clinical
   71  field experience, be accorded the same protection of law as that
   72  accorded to the certified educator except for the right to
   73  bargain collectively as an employee of the district school
   74  board. The district school board providing the clinical field
   75  experience shall notify the student electronically or in writing
   76  of the availability of educator liability insurance under s.
   77  1012.75. A postsecondary educational institution or district
   78  school board may not require a student enrolled in a state
   79  approved teacher preparation program to purchase liability
   80  insurance as a condition of participation in any clinical field
   81  experience or related activity on the premises of an elementary
   82  or secondary school.
   83         Section 4. Section 1012.75, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   84  read:
   85         1012.75 Liability of teacher or principal; excessive
   86  force.—
   87         (1) Except in the case of excessive force or cruel and
   88  unusual punishment, a teacher or other member of the
   89  instructional staff, a principal or the principal’s designated
   90  representative, or a bus driver shall not be civilly or
   91  criminally liable for any action carried out in conformity with
   92  State Board of Education and district school board rules
   93  regarding the control, discipline, suspension, and expulsion of
   94  students, including, but not limited to, any exercise of
   95  authority under s. 1003.32 or s. 1006.09.
   96         (2) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules that
   97  outline administrative standards for the use of reasonable force
   98  by school personnel to maintain a safe and orderly learning
   99  environment. Such standards shall be distributed to each school
  100  in the state and shall provide guidance to school personnel in
  101  receiving the limitations on liability specified in this
  102  section.
  103         (3) Beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, the
  104  Department of Education shall administer an educator liability
  105  insurance program, as provided in the General Appropriation Act,
  106  to protect full-time instructional personnel from liability for
  107  monetary damages and the costs of defending actions resulting
  108  from claims made against the instructional personnel arising out
  109  of occurrences in the course of activities within the
  110  instructional personnel’s professional capacity. For purposes of
  111  this subsection, the terms “full-time,” “part-time,” and
  112  “administrative personnel” shall be defined by the individual
  113  district school board. For purposes of this subsection, the term
  114  “instructional personnel” has the same meaning as provided in s.
  115  1012.01(2).
  116         (a) Liability coverage of at least $2 million shall be
  117  provided to all full-time instructional personnel. Liability
  118  coverage may be provided to the following individuals who choose
  119  to participate in the program, at cost: part-time instructional
  120  personnel, administrative personnel, and students enrolled in a
  121  state-approved teacher preparation program pursuant to s.
  122  1012.39(3).
  123         (b) Annually, by August 1, each district school board shall
  124  notify personnel specified in paragraph (a) of the liability
  125  coverage provided pursuant to this subsection. The department
  126  shall develop the form of the notice which each district school
  127  board must use. The notice must be on an 8 1/2-inch by 5 1/2
  128  inch postcard and include the amount of coverage, a general
  129  description of the nature of the coverage, and the contact
  130  information for coverage and claims questions. The notification
  131  must be provided separately from any other correspondence. Each
  132  district school board shall certify to the department, by August
  133  5 of each year, that the notification required by this paragraph
  134  has been provided.
  135         (c) The department shall consult with the Department of
  136  Financial Services to select the most economically prudent and
  137  cost-effective means of implementing the program through self
  138  insurance, a risk management program, or competitive
  139  procurement.
  140         Section 5. Subsection (1) of section 1012.79, Florida
  141  Statutes, is amended to read:
  142         1012.79 Education Practices Commission; organization.—
  143         (1) The Education Practices Commission is composed consists
  144  of the following 25 members: 10, including 8 teachers; 5
  145  administrators, at least one of whom represents shall represent
  146  a private or virtual school; 4 7 lay citizens who are, 5 of whom
  147  shall be parents of public school students and who are unrelated
  148  to public school employees; and 2 of whom shall be former
  149  charter school governing board or district school board members
  150  or former superintendents, assistant superintendents, or deputy
  151  superintendents; and 4 5 sworn law enforcement officials,
  152  appointed by the State Board of Education from nominations by
  153  the Commissioner of Education and subject to Senate
  154  confirmation. Prior to making nominations, the commissioner
  155  shall consult with teaching associations, parent organizations,
  156  law enforcement agencies, and other involved associations in the
  157  state. In making nominations, the commissioner shall attempt to
  158  achieve equal geographical representation, as closely as
  159  possible.
  160         (a) A teacher member, in order to be qualified for
  161  appointment:
  162         1. Must be certified to teach in the state.
  163         2. Must be a resident of the state.
  164         2.3. Must have practiced the profession in this state for
  165  at least 5 years immediately preceding the appointment.
  166         (b) A school administrator member, in order to be qualified
  167  for appointment:
  168         1. Must have an endorsement on the educator certificate in
  169  the area of school administration or supervision.
  170         2. Must be a resident of the state.
  171         2.3. Must have practiced the profession as an administrator
  172  for at least 5 years immediately preceding the appointment.
  173         (c) The lay members must be residents of the state.
  174         (c)(d) The law enforcement official members must have
  175  served in the profession for at least 5 years immediately
  176  preceding appointment and have background expertise in child
  177  safety.
  178         (d) The Commissioner of Education, upon request or
  179  recommendation from the commission, may also appoint up to five
  180  emeritus members from the commission’s prior membership to each
  181  serve 1-year terms. Notwithstanding any prior service on the
  182  commission, an emeritus member may serve up to five 1-year
  183  terms. An emeritus member serves as a voting member at a
  184  discipline hearing and as a consulting but nonvoting member
  185  during a business meeting.
  186         (e) All members must be residents of the state.
  187         Section 6. Subsection (3) of section 1012.796, Florida
  188  Statutes, is amended to read:
  189         1012.796 Complaints against teachers and administrators;
  190  procedure; penalties.—
  191         (3) The department staff shall advise the commissioner
  192  concerning the findings of the investigation. The department
  193  general counsel or members of that staff shall review the
  194  investigation and advise the commissioner concerning probable
  195  cause or lack thereof. The determination of probable cause shall
  196  be made by the commissioner. The commissioner shall provide an
  197  opportunity for a conference, if requested, prior to determining
  198  probable cause. The commissioner may enter into deferred
  199  prosecution agreements in lieu of finding probable cause if, in
  200  his or her judgment, such agreements are in the best interests
  201  of the department, the certificateholder, and the public. Such
  202  deferred prosecution agreements shall become effective when
  203  filed with the clerk of the Education Practices Commission.
  204  However, a deferred prosecution agreement may shall not be
  205  entered into if there is probable cause to believe that a felony
  206  or an act of moral turpitude, as defined by rule of the State
  207  Board of Education, has occurred. Upon finding no probable
  208  cause, the commissioner shall dismiss the complaint and may
  209  issue a letter of guidance to the certificateholder.
  211  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  212  And the title is amended as follows:
  213         Delete lines 5 - 13
  214  and insert:
  215         have access to certain reports and records; creating
  216         s. 1012.731, F.S.; providing legislative intent;
  217         establishing the Florida Best and Brightest Teacher
  218         Scholarship Program; providing eligibility criteria;
  219         requiring a school district to annually submit the
  220         number of eligible teachers to the department;
  221         providing for funding and the disbursement of funds;
  222         defining the term “school district” for purposes of
  223         the act; amending s. 1012.39, F.S.; providing
  224         requirements regarding liability insurance for
  225         students performing clinical field experience;
  226         amending s. 1012.75, F.S.; requiring the department to
  227         administer an educator liability insurance program;
  228         defining terms; specifying program administration and
  229         eligibility requirements; amending s. 1012.79, F.S.;
  230         revising the membership of the Education Practices
  231         Commission; authorizing the Commissioner of Education
  232         to appoint emeritus members to the commission;
  233         amending s. 1012.796, F.S.; authorizing the
  234         commissioner to issue a letter of guidance in response
  235         to a complaint against a teacher or administrator;
  236         providing an effective date.