Florida Senate - 2020                                    SB 1220
       By Senator Diaz
       36-01326-20                                           20201220__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to education; amending s. 1004.04,
    3         F.S.; requiring that the rules to establish uniform
    4         core curricula for each state-approved teacher
    5         preparation program include evidence-based reading
    6         instructional strategies and mental health strategies
    7         and support; deleting a provision allowing teacher
    8         preparation programs to waive admission requirements
    9         for up to 10 percent of the students admitted;
   10         amending s. 1012.56, F.S.; providing that for a
   11         subject requiring only a baccalaureate degree, a
   12         baccalaureate degree with a major in the subject area,
   13         conferred within the last 10 years, is an acceptable
   14         means of demonstrating mastery of subject area
   15         knowledge; amending s. 1012.79, F.S.; directing the
   16         Commissioner of Education, with the advice and consent
   17         of the chair of the Education Practices Commission, to
   18         appoint an executive director who is exempt from
   19         career service and may be removed by the commissioner;
   20         specifying that the executive director will have
   21         administrative duties, as determined by the
   22         commissioner; making a technical change; amending s.
   23         1012.586, F.S.; conforming a cross-reference;
   24         providing an effective date.
   26  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   28         Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subsection (2) and paragraph
   29  (b) of subsection (3) of section 1004.04, Florida Statutes, are
   30  amended to read:
   31         1004.04 Public accountability and state approval for
   32  teacher preparation programs.—
   34         (b) The rules to establish uniform core curricula for each
   35  state-approved teacher preparation program must include, but are
   36  not limited to, the following:
   37         1. Candidate instruction and assessment in the Florida
   38  Educator Accomplished Practices across content areas.
   39         2. The use of state-adopted content standards to guide
   40  curricula and instruction.
   41         3. Evidence-based Scientifically researched and evidence
   42  based reading instructional strategies that improve reading
   43  performance for all students, including explicit, systematic,
   44  and sequential approaches to teaching phonemic awareness,
   45  phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and text comprehension and
   46  multisensory intervention strategies.
   47         4. Content literacy and mathematics practices.
   48         5. Strategies appropriate for the instruction of English
   49  language learners.
   50         6. Strategies appropriate for the instruction of students
   51  with disabilities.
   52         7. Strategies to differentiate instruction based on student
   53  needs.
   54         8. The use of character-based classroom management.
   55         9.Mental health strategies and support.
   57         (b) Each teacher preparation program approved by the
   58  Department of Education, as provided for by this section, shall
   59  require students, at a minimum, to meet, at a minimum, the
   60  following as prerequisites for admission into the program:
   61         1. Have a grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0
   62  scale for the general education component of undergraduate
   63  studies or have completed the requirements for a baccalaureate
   64  degree with a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
   65  from any college or university accredited by a regional
   66  accrediting association as defined by State Board of Education
   67  rule or any college or university otherwise approved pursuant to
   68  State Board of Education rule.
   69         2. Demonstrate mastery of general knowledge sufficient for
   70  entry into the program, including the ability to read, write,
   71  and perform in mathematics, by passing the General Knowledge
   72  Test of the Florida Teacher Certification Examination or, for a
   73  graduate level program, obtain a baccalaureate degree from an
   74  institution that is accredited or approved pursuant to the rules
   75  of the State Board of Education.
   77  Each teacher preparation program may waive these admissions
   78  requirements for up to 10 percent of the students admitted.
   79  Programs shall implement strategies to ensure that students
   80  admitted under a waiver receive assistance to demonstrate
   81  competencies to successfully meet requirements for certification
   82  and shall annually report to the Department of Education the
   83  status of each candidate admitted under such a waiver.
   84         Section 2. Subsection (5) of section 1012.56, Florida
   85  Statutes, is amended to read:
   86         1012.56 Educator certification requirements.—
   87         (5) MASTERY OF SUBJECT AREA KNOWLEDGE.—Acceptable means of
   88  demonstrating mastery of subject area knowledge are:
   89         (a)For a subject requiring only a baccalaureate degree, a
   90  baccalaureate degree with a major in the subject area, conferred
   91  within the last 10 years from an accredited or approved
   92  institution as defined in rule 6A-4.003, Florida Administrative
   93  Code;
   94         (b)(a) For a subject requiring only a baccalaureate degree
   95  for which a Florida subject area examination has been developed,
   96  achievement of a passing score on the Florida-developed subject
   97  area examination specified in state board rule;
   98         (c)(b) For a subject for which a Florida subject area
   99  examination has not been developed, achievement of a passing
  100  score on a standardized examination specified in state board
  101  rule, including, but not limited to, passing scores on both the
  102  oral proficiency and written proficiency examinations
  103  administered by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign
  104  Languages;
  105         (d)(c) For a subject for which a Florida subject area
  106  examination has not been developed or a standardized examination
  107  has not been specified in state board rule, completion of the
  108  subject area specialization requirements specified in state
  109  board rule and verification of the attainment of the essential
  110  subject matter competencies by the district school
  111  superintendent of the employing school district or chief
  112  administrative officer of the employing state-supported or
  113  private school;
  114         (e)(d) For a subject requiring a master’s or higher degree,
  115  completion of the subject area specialization requirements
  116  specified in state board rule and achievement of a passing score
  117  on the Florida-developed subject area examination or a
  118  standardized examination specified in state board rule;
  119         (f)(e) Documentation of a valid professional standard
  120  teaching certificate issued by another state;
  121         (g)(f) Documentation of a valid certificate issued by the
  122  National Board for Professional Teaching Standards or a national
  123  educator credentialing board approved by the State Board of
  124  Education;
  125         (h)(g) Documentation of successful completion of a United
  126  States Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center
  127  program; or
  128         (i)(h) Documentation of a passing score on the Defense
  129  Language Proficiency Test (DLPT).
  131  School districts are encouraged to provide mechanisms for middle
  132  grades teachers holding only a K-6 teaching certificate to
  133  obtain a subject area coverage for middle grades through
  134  postsecondary coursework or district add-on certification.
  135         Section 3. Subsections (5), (6), and (9) of section
  136  1012.79, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  137         1012.79 Education Practices Commission; organization.—
  138         (5) The Commissioner of Education, with the advice and
  139  consent of the commission chair, is responsible for appointing,
  140  and may remove, commission, by a vote of three-fourths of the
  141  membership, shall employ an executive director, who shall be
  142  exempt from career service. The executive director shall have
  143  administrative duties, as determined by the Commissioner of
  144  Education. The executive director may not impact or influence
  145  decisions of the commission. The executive director may be
  146  dismissed by a majority vote of the membership.
  147         (6)(a) The commission shall be assigned to the Department
  148  of Education for administrative and fiscal accountability
  149  purposes. The commission, in the performance of its powers and
  150  duties, shall not be subject to control, supervision, or
  151  direction by the Department of Education.
  152         (b) The property, personnel, and appropriations related to
  153  the specified authority, powers, duties, and responsibilities of
  154  the commission shall be provided to the commission by the
  155  Department of Education.
  156         (9) The commission shall make such expenditures as may be
  157  necessary in exercising its authority and powers and carrying
  158  out its duties and responsibilities, including expenditures for
  159  personal services, legal services general counsel or access to
  160  counsel, and rent at the seat of government and elsewhere; for
  161  books of reference, periodicals, furniture, equipment, and
  162  supplies; and for printing and binding. The expenditures of the
  163  commission shall be subject to the powers and duties of the
  164  Department of Financial Services as provided in s. 17.03.
  165         Section 4. Subsection (1) of section 1012.586, Florida
  166  Statutes, is amended to read:
  167         1012.586 Additions or changes to certificates; duplicate
  168  certificates.—A school district may process via a Department of
  169  Education website certificates for the following applications of
  170  public school employees:
  171         (1) Addition of a subject coverage or endorsement to a
  172  valid Florida certificate on the basis of the completion of the
  173  appropriate subject area testing requirements of s.
  174  1012.56(5)(b) s. 1012.56(5)(a) or the completion of the
  175  requirements of an approved school district program or the
  176  inservice components for an endorsement.
  177         (a) To reduce duplication, the department may recommend the
  178  consolidation of endorsement areas and requirements to the State
  179  Board of Education.
  180         (b) By July 1, 2018, and at least once every 5 years
  181  thereafter, the department shall conduct a review of existing
  182  subject coverage or endorsement requirements in the elementary,
  183  reading, and exceptional student educational areas. The review
  184  must include reciprocity requirements for out-of-state
  185  certificates and requirements for demonstrating competency in
  186  the reading instruction professional development topics listed
  187  in s. 1012.98(4)(b)11. The review must also consider the award
  188  of an endorsement to an individual who holds a certificate
  189  issued by an internationally recognized organization that
  190  establishes standards for providing evidence-based interventions
  191  to struggling readers or who completes a postsecondary program
  192  that is accredited by such organization. Any such certificate or
  193  program must require an individual who completes the certificate
  194  or program to demonstrate competence in reading intervention
  195  strategies through clinical experience. At the conclusion of
  196  each review, the department shall recommend to the state board
  197  changes to the subject coverage or endorsement requirements
  198  based upon any identified instruction or intervention strategies
  199  proven to improve student reading performance. This paragraph
  200  does not authorize the state board to establish any new
  201  certification subject coverage.
  203  The employing school district shall charge the employee a fee
  204  not to exceed the amount charged by the Department of Education
  205  for such services. Each district school board shall retain a
  206  portion of the fee as defined in the rules of the State Board of
  207  Education. The portion sent to the department shall be used for
  208  maintenance of the technology system, the web application, and
  209  posting and mailing of the certificate.
  210         Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.