Florida Senate - 2018 SB 1614 By Senator Hukill 14-00942A-18 20181614__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to education; amending s. 1002.421, 3 F.S.; requiring the Department of Education to suspend 4 specified payments to private schools that fail, 5 rather than knowingly fail, to meet certain 6 scholarship program accountability standards; 7 providing that the failure of, rather than the 8 inability of, private schools to meet such standards 9 constitutes the basis for ineligibility for 10 participation in a scholarship program; providing an 11 effective date. 12 13 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 14 15 Section 1. Subsections (4) and (5) of section 1002.421, 16 Florida Statutes, are amended to read: 17 1002.421 Accountability of private schools participating in 18 state school choice scholarship programs.— 19 (4) A private school that accepts scholarship students 20 under s. 1002.39 or s. 1002.395 must: 21 (a) Disqualify instructional personnel and school 22 administrators, as defined in s. 1012.01, from employment in any 23 position that requires direct contact with students if the 24 personnel or administrators are ineligible for such employment 25 under s. 1012.315. 26 (b) Adopt policies establishing standards of ethical 27 conduct for instructional personnel and school administrators. 28 The policies must require all instructional personnel and school 29 administrators, as defined in s. 1012.01, to complete training 30 on the standards; establish the duty of instructional personnel 31 and school administrators to report, and procedures for 32 reporting, alleged misconduct by other instructional personnel 33 and school administrators which affects the health, safety, or 34 welfare of a student; and include an explanation of the 35 liability protections provided under ss. 39.203 and 768.095. A 36 private school, or any of its employees, may not enter into a 37 confidentiality agreement regarding terminated or dismissed 38 instructional personnel or school administrators, or personnel 39 or administrators who resign in lieu of termination, based in 40 whole or in part on misconduct that affects the health, safety, 41 or welfare of a student, and may not provide the instructional 42 personnel or school administrators with employment references or 43 discuss the personnel’s or administrators’ performance with 44 prospective employers in another educational setting, without 45 disclosing the personnel’s or administrators’ misconduct. Any 46 part of an agreement or contract that has the purpose or effect 47 of concealing misconduct by instructional personnel or school 48 administrators which affects the health, safety, or welfare of a 49 student is void, is contrary to public policy, and may not be 50 enforced. 51 (c) Before employing instructional personnel or school 52 administrators in any position that requires direct contact with 53 students, conduct employment history checks of each of the 54 personnel’s or administrators’ previous employers, screen the 55 personnel or administrators through use of the educator 56 screening tools described in s. 1001.10(5), and document the 57 findings. If unable to contact a previous employer, the private 58 school must document efforts to contact the employer. 59 60 The department shall suspend the payment of funds under ss. 61 1002.39 and 1002.395 to a private school that
knowinglyfails to 62 comply with this subsection, and shall prohibit the school from 63 enrolling new scholarship students, for 1 fiscal year and until 64 the school complies. 65 (5) The failure inabilityof a private school to meet the 66 requirements of this section shall constitute a basis for the 67 ineligibility of the private school to participate in a 68 scholarship program as determined by the department. 69 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.