Florida Senate - 2020                             CS for SB 1220
       By the Committee on Education; and Senator Diaz
       581-02438-20                                          20201220c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to education; amending s. 1002.394,
    3         F.S.; revising initial scholarship eligibility
    4         criteria for the Family Empowerment Scholarship
    5         Program, beginning with a specified school year;
    6         providing that participation in certain virtual
    7         schools, correspondence schools, or distance learning
    8         programs does not make a student ineligible for a
    9         scholarship under the program in certain
   10         circumstances; amending s. 1002.395, F.S.; revising
   11         eligibility criteria for the Florida Tax Credit
   12         Scholarship Program and applying the criteria only to
   13         initial eligibility; requiring that priority be given
   14         to students whose household incomes do not exceed a
   15         specified amount; amending s. 1004.04, F.S.; requiring
   16         that the rules to establish uniform core curricula for
   17         each state-approved teacher preparation program
   18         include evidence-based reading instructional
   19         strategies and mental health strategies and support;
   20         requiring state-approved teacher preparation programs
   21         include opportunities to complete endorsements and
   22         complete training required of instructional personnel;
   23         removing admission requirements, and deleting a
   24         provision allowing teacher preparation programs to
   25         waive admission requirements for up to 10 percent of
   26         the students admitted; requiring an assessment of
   27         student proficiency is employer surveys; amending s.
   28         1004.85, F.S.; expanding requirements for the
   29         certification program of a postsecondary educator
   30         preparation institute to be approved by the Department
   31         of Education; amending s. 1011.61, F.S.; providing
   32         that a certain scholarship award is not subject to the
   33         maximum value for funding a student under the Florida
   34         Education Finance Program; amending s. 1012.56, F.S.;
   35         providing that for a subject requiring only a
   36         baccalaureate degree, a baccalaureate degree with a
   37         major in the subject area, conferred within the last
   38         10 years, is an acceptable means of demonstrating
   39         mastery of subject area knowledge; amending s.
   40         1012.585, F.S.; specifying that teachers may earn
   41         inservice points only once during a certain time
   42         period for any mandatory training topic not linked to
   43         student learning or professional growth; amending s.
   44         1012.79, F.S.; directing the Commissioner of
   45         Education, with the advice and consent of the chair of
   46         the Education Practices Commission, to appoint an
   47         executive director who is exempt from career service
   48         and may be removed by the commissioner; specifying
   49         that the executive director will have administrative
   50         duties, as determined by the commissioner; making a
   51         technical change; amending s. 1012.98, F.S.; requiring
   52         district school boards to calculate a proportionate
   53         share of professional development funds for each
   54         classroom teacher; authorizing classroom teachers to
   55         use up to a certain amount of such funds for certain
   56         purposes; requiring the Department of Education to
   57         identify professional development opportunities for
   58         classroom teachers to demonstrate proficiency in a
   59         specific classroom practice; requiring the department
   60         to create and develop a model annual and 5-year
   61         calendar of professional development by a specified
   62         date; requiring school districts to develop annual and
   63         5-year calendars of professional development for
   64         inclusion in the department’s professional development
   65         system by a specified date; requiring the department
   66         to maintain a statewide registry of approved
   67         professional development providers and professional
   68         development activities for use by teachers; requiring
   69         professional development providers to be approved by
   70         the department; specifying requirements for
   71         professional development providers; requiring the
   72         department to review professional development provider
   73         applications for compliance and to approve or deny an
   74         application within a certain timeframe; providing for
   75         provider reapplication; requiring each school district
   76         to accept an approved professional development
   77         activity for a certain purpose; requiring the
   78         department to determine the number of inservice hours
   79         to be awarded for completion of an activity; creating
   80         the Professional Development Choice Pilot Program to
   81         be administered by the department for a specified
   82         period; providing the pilot program’s purpose;
   83         authorizing the use of pilot program grants for
   84         specified purposes; providing requirements for the use
   85         of such grants; providing eligibility requirements for
   86         receiving pilot program grants; providing requirements
   87         and limits for grant disbursements; providing certain
   88         duties of each school district; requiring the
   89         department to maintain a registry of approved provider
   90         and professional development activities; requiring the
   91         department to establish an application form by a
   92         specified date; creating s. 1012.981, F.S.; creating
   93         the Professional Education Excellence Resources (PEER)
   94         Pilot Program in specified counties; authorizing
   95         school districts implementing the pilot program to
   96         engage in certain activities; authorizing school
   97         districts to use program funds for certain purposes;
   98         requiring school districts participating in the
   99         program to collaborate with the department and other
  100         entities to develop high-quality online professional
  101         development opportunities accessible to instructional
  102         personnel statewide; providing requirements for such
  103         professional online development opportunities;
  104         authorizing participating school districts to use
  105         program funds to establish a master teacher program;
  106         providing requirements for the master teacher program;
  107         requiring participating school districts to
  108         collaborate with the department and the University of
  109         Florida Lastinger Center to develop a master teacher
  110         academy; providing duties for the master teacher
  111         academy; requiring each school district participating
  112         in the PEER Pilot Program to report annually to the
  113         Governor, the Legislature, and the department on the
  114         performance of the pilot program; requiring the annual
  115         report to contain certain information; requiring the
  116         State Board of Education to adopt rules; specifying
  117         that the pilot program be implemented only to the
  118         extent specifically funded and authorized by law;
  119         amending s. 1012.586, F.S.; conforming a cross
  120         reference; providing an effective date.
  122  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
  124         Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subsection (3) and subsection
  125  (5) of section 1002.394, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  126         1002.394 The Family Empowerment Scholarship Program.—
  127         (3) INITIAL SCHOLARSHIP ELIGIBILITY.—A student is eligible
  128  for a Family Empowerment Scholarship under this section if the
  129  student meets the following criteria:
  130         (b)1. The student is eligible to enroll in kindergarten or
  131  has spent the prior school year in attendance at a Florida
  132  public school; or
  133         2.Beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, the student
  134  received a scholarship pursuant to s. 1002.395 during the
  135  previous school year and, before initial receipt of such
  136  scholarship, spent the prior school year in attendance at a
  137  Florida public school.
  139  For purposes of this paragraph, the term prior school year in
  140  attendance means that the student was enrolled and reported by
  141  a school district for funding during the preceding October and
  142  February Florida Education Finance Program surveys in
  143  kindergarten through grade 12, which includes time spent in a
  144  Department of Juvenile Justice commitment program if funded
  145  under the Florida Education Finance Program. However, a
  146  dependent child of a member of the United States Armed Forces
  147  who transfers to a school in this state from out of state or
  148  from a foreign country due to a parent’s permanent change of
  149  station orders or a foster child is exempt from the prior public
  150  school attendance requirement under this paragraph, but must
  151  meet the other eligibility requirements specified under this
  152  section to participate in the program.
  153         (5) SCHOLARSHIP PROHIBITIONS.—A student is not eligible for
  154  a Family Empowerment Scholarship while he or she is:
  155         (a) Enrolled in a public school, including, but not limited
  156  to, the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, the College
  157  Preparatory Boarding Academy, a developmental research school
  158  authorized under s. 1002.32, or a charter school authorized
  159  under this chapter;
  160         (b) Enrolled in a school operating for the purpose of
  161  providing educational services to youth in a Department of
  162  Juvenile Justice commitment program;
  163         (c) Receiving any other educational scholarship pursuant to
  164  this chapter;
  165         (d) Participating in a home education program as defined in
  166  s. 1002.01(1);
  167         (e) Participating in a private tutoring program pursuant to
  168  s. 1002.43; or
  169         (f) Participating in a virtual school, correspondence
  170  school, or distance learning program that receives state funding
  171  pursuant to the student’s participation, unless the
  172  participation is limited to no more than two courses per school
  173  year.
  174         Section 2. Subsection (3) and paragraph (e) of subsection
  175  (6) of section 1002.395, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  176         1002.395 Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program.—
  178         (a) The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program is
  179  established.
  180         (b) A student is eligible for a Florida tax credit
  181  scholarship under this section if the student meets one or more
  182  of the following criteria:
  183         1. The student is on the direct certification list or the
  184  student’s household income level does not exceed 300 185 percent
  185  of the federal poverty level; or
  186         2. The student is currently placed, or during the previous
  187  state fiscal year was placed, in foster care or in out-of-home
  188  care as defined in s. 39.01.
  189         3. The student’s household income level is greater than 185
  190  percent of the federal poverty level but does not exceed 260
  191  percent of the federal poverty level.
  193  Priority must be given to students whose household income levels
  194  do not exceed 185 percent of the federal poverty level or who
  195  are in foster care or out-of-home care. A student who initially
  196  receives a scholarship based on eligibility under this paragraph
  197  subparagraph (b)2. remains eligible to participate until he or
  198  she the student graduates from high school or attains the age of
  199  21 years, whichever occurs first, regardless of the student’s
  200  household income level. A student who initially received a
  201  scholarship based on income eligibility before the 2019-2020
  202  school year remains eligible to participate until he or she
  203  graduates from high school, attains the age of 21 years, or the
  204  student’s household income level exceeds 260 percent of the
  205  federal poverty level, whichever occurs first. A sibling of a
  206  student who is participating in the scholarship program under
  207  this subsection is eligible for a scholarship if the student
  208  resides in the same household as the sibling.
  210  ORGANIZATIONS.—An eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding
  211  organization:
  212         (e) Must give first priority to eligible students who
  213  received a scholarship from an eligible nonprofit scholarship
  214  funding organization or from the State of Florida during the
  215  previous school year. Beginning in the 2016-2017 school year, an
  216  eligible nonprofit scholarship-funding organization shall give
  217  priority to new applicants whose household income levels do not
  218  exceed 185 percent of the federal poverty level or who are in
  219  foster care or out-of-home care.
  221  Information and documentation provided to the Department of
  222  Education and the Auditor General relating to the identity of a
  223  taxpayer that provides an eligible contribution under this
  224  section shall remain confidential at all times in accordance
  225  with s. 213.053.
  226         Section 3. Paragraph (b) of subsection (2) of section
  227  1004.04, Florida Statutes, is amended, paragraph (b) of
  228  subsection (3) of that section is amended, paragraphs (d) and
  229  (e) of subsection (3) of that section are added, and subsection
  230  (4) of that section is amended, to read:
  231         1004.04 Public accountability and state approval for
  232  teacher preparation programs.—
  234         (b) The rules to establish uniform core curricula for each
  235  state-approved teacher preparation program must include, but are
  236  not limited to, the following:
  237         1. Candidate instruction and assessment in the Florida
  238  Educator Accomplished Practices across content areas.
  239         2. The use of state-adopted content standards to guide
  240  curricula and instruction.
  241         3. Evidence-based Scientifically researched and evidence
  242  based reading instructional strategies that improve reading
  243  performance for all students, including explicit, systematic,
  244  and sequential approaches to teaching phonemic awareness,
  245  phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and text comprehension and
  246  multisensory intervention strategies.
  247         4. Content literacy and mathematics practices.
  248         5. Strategies appropriate for the instruction of English
  249  language learners.
  250         6. Strategies appropriate for the instruction of students
  251  with disabilities.
  252         7. Strategies to differentiate instruction based on student
  253  needs.
  254         8. The use of character-based classroom management.
  255         9.Mental health strategies and support.
  257         (b) Each teacher preparation program approved by the
  258  Department of Education, as provided for by this section, shall
  259  require students, at a minimum, to meet, at a minimum, the
  260  following as prerequisites for admission into the program:
  261         1. Have a grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4.0
  262  scale for the general education component of undergraduate
  263  studies or have completed the requirements for a baccalaureate
  264  degree with a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
  265  from any college or university accredited by a regional
  266  accrediting association as defined by State Board of Education
  267  rule or any college or university otherwise approved pursuant to
  268  State Board of Education rule.
  269         2. Demonstrate mastery of general knowledge sufficient for
  270  entry into the program, including the ability to read, write,
  271  and perform in mathematics, by passing the General Knowledge
  272  Test of the Florida Teacher Certification Examination or, for a
  273  graduate level program, obtain a baccalaureate degree from an
  274  institution that is accredited or approved pursuant to the rules
  275  of the State Board of Education.
  277  Each teacher preparation program may waive these admissions
  278  requirements for up to 10 percent of the students admitted.
  279  Programs shall implement strategies to ensure that students
  280  admitted under a waiver receive assistance to demonstrate
  281  competencies to successfully meet requirements for certification
  282  and shall annually report to the Department of Education the
  283  status of each candidate admitted under such a waiver.
  284         (d) Each program must include the opportunity for the
  285  candidate to complete coursework to obtain a required
  286  endorsement in the candidate’s chosen teaching field.
  287         (e) Each program must include, in addition to the core
  288  standards for effective education, instruction in the training
  289  required of certified instructional personnel, including, but
  290  not limited to:
  291         1.Identification, intervention, and prevention of child
  292  abuse, abandonment, and neglect;
  293         2.Integration of technology into classroom teaching;
  294         3.Management, assessment, and monitoring of student
  295  learning and performance;
  296         4.Skills in classroom management, violence prevention,
  297  conflict resolution, and related areas;
  298         5.Developmental disabilities pursuant to s. 1012.582;
  299         6.Youth suicide awareness and prevention pursuant to s.
  300  1012.583; and
  301         7.Youth mental health awareness and assistance pursuant to
  302  s. 1012.584.
  303         (4) CONTINUED PROGRAM APPROVAL.—Continued approval of a
  304  teacher preparation program shall be based upon evidence that
  305  the program continues to implement the requirements for initial
  306  approval and upon significant, objective, and quantifiable
  307  measures of the program and the performance of the program
  308  completers.
  309         (a) The criteria for continued approval must include each
  310  of the following:
  311         1. Documentation from the program that each program
  312  candidate met the admission requirements provided in subsection
  313  (3).
  314         2. Documentation from the program that the program and each
  315  program completer have met the requirements provided in
  316  subsection (2).
  317         3. Evidence of performance in each of the following areas:
  318         a. Placement rate of program completers into instructional
  319  positions in Florida public schools and private schools, if
  320  available.
  321         b. Rate of retention for employed program completers in
  322  instructional positions in Florida public schools.
  323         c. Performance of students in prekindergarten through grade
  324  12 who are assigned to in-field program completers on statewide
  325  assessments using the results of the student learning growth
  326  formula adopted under s. 1012.34.
  327         d. Performance of students in prekindergarten through grade
  328  12 who are assigned to in-field program completers aggregated by
  329  student subgroup, as defined in the federal Elementary and
  330  Secondary Education Act (ESEA), 20 U.S.C. s.
  331  6311(b)(2)(C)(v)(II), as a measure of how well the program
  332  prepares teachers to work with a diverse population of students
  333  in a variety of settings in Florida public schools.
  334         e. Results of program completers’ annual evaluations in
  335  accordance with the timeline as set forth in s. 1012.34.
  336         f. Production of program completers in statewide critical
  337  teacher shortage areas as identified in s. 1012.07.
  338         4. Results of the program completers’ survey measuring
  339  their satisfaction with preparation for the realities of the
  340  classroom.
  341         5. Results of the employers’ survey measuring satisfaction
  342  with the program and the program’s responsiveness to local
  343  school districts. The survey must include the employer’s
  344  assessment of the student’s proficiency in the use of state
  345  adopted content standards and general preparation for the
  346  classroom.
  347         Section 4. Paragraph (a) of subsection (3) and subsection
  348  (5) of section 1004.85, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  349         1004.85 Postsecondary educator preparation institutes.—
  350         (3) Educator preparation institutes approved pursuant to
  351  this section may offer competency-based certification programs
  352  specifically designed for noneducation major baccalaureate
  353  degree holders to enable program participants to meet the
  354  educator certification requirements of s. 1012.56. An educator
  355  preparation institute choosing to offer a competency-based
  356  certification program pursuant to the provisions of this section
  357  must implement a program previously approved by the Department
  358  of Education for this purpose or a program developed by the
  359  institute and approved by the department for this purpose.
  360  Approved programs shall be available for use by other approved
  361  educator preparation institutes.
  362         (a) Within 90 days after receipt of a request for approval,
  363  the Department of Education shall approve a preparation program
  364  pursuant to the requirements of this subsection or issue a
  365  statement of the deficiencies in the request for approval. The
  366  department shall approve a certification program if the
  367  institute provides evidence of the institute’s capacity to
  368  implement a competency-based program that includes each of the
  369  following:
  370         1.a. Participant instruction and assessment in the Florida
  371  Educator Accomplished Practices across content areas.
  372         b. The use of state-adopted student content standards to
  373  guide curriculum and instruction.
  374         c. Scientifically researched and evidence-based reading
  375  instructional strategies that improve reading performance for
  376  all students, including explicit, systematic, and sequential
  377  approaches to teaching phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary,
  378  fluency, and text comprehension and multisensory intervention
  379  strategies.
  380         d. Content literacy and mathematical practices.
  381         e. Strategies appropriate for instruction of English
  382  language learners.
  383         f. Strategies appropriate for instruction of students with
  384  disabilities.
  385         g. Strategies to differentiate instruction based on student
  386  needs.
  387         h. The use of character-based classroom management.
  388         2. An educational plan for each participant to meet
  389  certification requirements and demonstrate his or her ability to
  390  teach the subject area for which the participant is seeking
  391  certification, which is based on an assessment of his or her
  392  competency in the areas listed in subparagraph 1.
  393         3. Field experiences appropriate to the certification
  394  subject area specified in the educational plan with a diverse
  395  population of students in a variety of challenging environments,
  396  including, but not limited to, high-poverty schools, urban
  397  schools, and rural schools, under the supervision of qualified
  398  educators.
  399         4. A certification ombudsman to facilitate the process and
  400  procedures required for participants who complete the program to
  401  meet any requirements related to the background screening
  402  pursuant to s. 1012.32 and educator professional or temporary
  403  certification pursuant to s. 1012.56.
  404         5.The opportunity for a candidate to complete coursework
  405  to obtain a required endorsement in the candidate’s chosen
  406  teaching field.
  407         6. In addition to the core standards for effective
  408  education, instruction in the training required of certified
  409  instructional personnel, including, but not limited to:
  410         a.Identification, intervention, and prevention of child
  411  abuse, abandonment, and neglect;
  412         b.Integration of technology into classroom teaching;
  413         c.Management, assessment, and monitoring of student
  414  learning and performance;
  415         d.Skills in classroom management, violence prevention,
  416  conflict resolution, and related areas;
  417         e.Developmental disabilities pursuant to s. 1012.582;
  418         f.Youth suicide awareness and prevention pursuant to s.
  419  1012.583; and
  420         g.Youth mental health awareness and assistance pursuant to
  421  s. 1012.584.
  422         (5) Each institute approved pursuant to this section shall
  423  submit to the Department of Education annual performance
  424  evaluations that measure the effectiveness of the programs,
  425  including the pass rates of participants on all examinations
  426  required for teacher certification, employment rates,
  427  longitudinal retention rates, and satisfaction surveys of
  428  employers and candidates. The satisfaction surveys must be
  429  designed to measure the sufficient preparation of the educator
  430  for the student’s proficiency in the use of state-adopted
  431  content standards, the realities of the classroom, and the
  432  institute’s responsiveness to local school districts. These
  433  evaluations shall be used by the Department of Education for
  434  purposes of continued approval of an educator preparation
  435  institute’s certification program.
  436         Section 5. Subsection (4) of section 1011.61, Florida
  437  Statutes, is amended to read:
  438         1011.61 Definitions.—Notwithstanding the provisions of s.
  439  1000.21, the following terms are defined as follows for the
  440  purposes of the Florida Education Finance Program:
  441         (4) The maximum value for funding a student in kindergarten
  442  through grade 12 or in a prekindergarten program for exceptional
  443  children as provided in s. 1003.21(1)(e) shall be the sum of the
  444  calculations in paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) as calculated by
  445  the department.
  446         (a) The sum of the student’s full-time equivalent student
  447  membership value for the school year or the equivalent derived
  448  from paragraphs (1)(a) and (b), subparagraph (1)(c)1., sub
  449  subparagraphs (1)(c)2.b. and c., subparagraph (1)(c)3., and
  450  subsection (2). If the sum is greater than 1.0, the full-time
  451  equivalent student membership value for each program or course
  452  shall be reduced by an equal proportion so that the student’s
  453  total full-time equivalent student membership value is equal to
  454  1.0.
  455         (b) If the result in paragraph (a) is less than 1.0 full
  456  time equivalent student and the student has full-time equivalent
  457  student enrollment pursuant to sub-sub-subparagraph
  458  (1)(c)1.b.(VIII), calculate an amount that is the lesser of the
  459  value in sub-sub-subparagraph (1)(c)1.b.(VIII) or the value of
  460  1.0 less the value in paragraph (a).
  461         (c) The full-time equivalent student enrollment value in
  462  sub-subparagraph (1)(c)2.a.
  464  A scholarship award provided to a student enrolled in the John
  465  M. McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program
  466  pursuant to s. 1002.39 or the Family Empowerment Scholarship
  467  Program pursuant to s. 1002.394 is not subject to the maximum
  468  value for funding a student under this subsection.
  469         Section 6. Subsection (5) of section 1012.56, Florida
  470  Statutes, is amended to read:
  471         1012.56 Educator certification requirements.—
  472         (5) MASTERY OF SUBJECT AREA KNOWLEDGE.—Acceptable means of
  473  demonstrating mastery of subject area knowledge are:
  474         (a)For a subject requiring only a baccalaureate degree, a
  475  baccalaureate degree with a major in the subject area, conferred
  476  within the last 10 years from an accredited or approved
  477  institution as defined in rule 6A-4.003, Florida Administrative
  478  Code;
  479         (b)(a) For a subject requiring only a baccalaureate degree
  480  for which a Florida subject area examination has been developed,
  481  achievement of a passing score on the Florida-developed subject
  482  area examination specified in state board rule;
  483         (c)(b) For a subject for which a Florida subject area
  484  examination has not been developed, achievement of a passing
  485  score on a standardized examination specified in state board
  486  rule, including, but not limited to, passing scores on both the
  487  oral proficiency and written proficiency examinations
  488  administered by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign
  489  Languages;
  490         (d)(c) For a subject for which a Florida subject area
  491  examination has not been developed or a standardized examination
  492  has not been specified in state board rule, completion of the
  493  subject area specialization requirements specified in state
  494  board rule and verification of the attainment of the essential
  495  subject matter competencies by the district school
  496  superintendent of the employing school district or chief
  497  administrative officer of the employing state-supported or
  498  private school;
  499         (e)(d) For a subject requiring a master’s or higher degree,
  500  completion of the subject area specialization requirements
  501  specified in state board rule and achievement of a passing score
  502  on the Florida-developed subject area examination or a
  503  standardized examination specified in state board rule;
  504         (f)(e) Documentation of a valid professional standard
  505  teaching certificate issued by another state;
  506         (g)(f) Documentation of a valid certificate issued by the
  507  National Board for Professional Teaching Standards or a national
  508  educator credentialing board approved by the State Board of
  509  Education;
  510         (h)(g) Documentation of successful completion of a United
  511  States Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center
  512  program; or
  513         (i)(h) Documentation of a passing score on the Defense
  514  Language Proficiency Test (DLPT).
  516  School districts are encouraged to provide mechanisms for middle
  517  grades teachers holding only a K-6 teaching certificate to
  518  obtain a subject area coverage for middle grades through
  519  postsecondary coursework or district add-on certification.
  520         Section 7. Paragraph (g) is added to subsection (3) of
  521  section 1012.585, Florida Statutes, to read:
  522         1012.585 Process for renewal of professional certificates.—
  523         (3) For the renewal of a professional certificate, the
  524  following requirements must be met:
  525         (g)A teacher may earn inservice points only once during
  526  each 5-year validity period for any mandatory training topic
  527  that is not linked to student learning or professional growth.
  528         Section 8. Subsections (5), (6), and (9) of section
  529  1012.79, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  530         1012.79 Education Practices Commission; organization.—
  531         (5) The Commissioner of Education, with the advice and
  532  consent of the commission chair, is responsible for appointing,
  533  and may remove, commission, by a vote of three-fourths of the
  534  membership, shall employ an executive director, who shall be
  535  exempt from career service. The executive director shall have
  536  administrative duties, as determined by the Commissioner of
  537  Education. The executive director may not impact or influence
  538  decisions of the commission. The executive director may be
  539  dismissed by a majority vote of the membership.
  540         (6)(a) The commission shall be assigned to the Department
  541  of Education for administrative and fiscal accountability
  542  purposes. The commission, in the performance of its powers and
  543  duties, shall not be subject to control, supervision, or
  544  direction by the Department of Education.
  545         (b) The property, personnel, and appropriations related to
  546  the specified authority, powers, duties, and responsibilities of
  547  the commission shall be provided to the commission by the
  548  Department of Education.
  549         (9) The commission shall make such expenditures as may be
  550  necessary in exercising its authority and powers and carrying
  551  out its duties and responsibilities, including expenditures for
  552  personal services, legal services general counsel or access to
  553  counsel, and rent at the seat of government and elsewhere; for
  554  books of reference, periodicals, furniture, equipment, and
  555  supplies; and for printing and binding. The expenditures of the
  556  commission shall be subject to the powers and duties of the
  557  Department of Financial Services as provided in s. 17.03.
  558         Section 9. Subsection (5) of section 1012.98, Florida
  559  Statutes, is amended, and subsections (13), (14), and (15) are
  560  added to that section, to read:
  561         1012.98 School Community Professional Development Act.—
  562         (5) Each district school board shall provide funding for
  563  the professional development system as required by s. 1011.62
  564  and the General Appropriations Act, and shall direct
  565  expenditures from other funding sources to continuously
  566  strengthen the system in order to increase student achievement
  567  and support instructional staff in enhancing rigor and relevance
  568  in the classroom. Each district school board shall calculate a
  569  proportionate share of professional development funds for each
  570  classroom teacher and allow each classroom teacher to use up to
  571  25 percent of the proportionate share on professional
  572  development that addresses the academic needs of students or an
  573  identified area of professional growth for the classroom
  574  teacher. The department shall identify professional development
  575  opportunities that require the classroom teacher to demonstrate
  576  proficiency in a specific classroom practice. A school district
  577  may coordinate its professional development program with that of
  578  another district, with an educational consortium, or with a
  579  Florida College System institution or university, especially in
  580  preparing and educating personnel. Each district school board
  581  shall make available inservice activities to instructional
  582  personnel of nonpublic schools in the district and the state
  583  certified teachers who are not employed by the district school
  584  board on a fee basis not to exceed the cost of the activity per
  585  all participants.
  586         (13) To assist school district planning for required
  587  teacher professional development, by August 1, 2020, the
  588  department shall develop a model annual and 5-year calendar that
  589  incorporates all state-required professional development. No
  590  later than January 1, 2021, school districts shall develop an
  591  annual and a 5-year calendar of professional development for
  592  inclusion in the professional development system approved by the
  593  department pursuant to subsection (4).
  594         (14)The department shall develop and maintain a statewide
  595  registry of approved professional development providers and
  596  professional development activities for use by teachers in this
  597  state. The registry is intended to provide educators with high
  598  quality professional development opportunities in addition to
  599  those offered by an entity specified in subsection (1).
  600         (a) Any professional development provider seeking to be
  601  added to the registry must complete an application developed by
  602  the department. Approved providers are responsible for notifying
  603  the department of any changes to the provider or approved
  604  activities using an update form developed by the department. The
  605  approval form must include, but is not limited to, requirements
  606  that the provider specify:
  607         1. Compliance with this section.
  608         2. The alignment of professional development activities
  609  with professional development standards adopted by the state
  610  board in rule and standards adopted by the National Staff
  611  Development Council.
  612         3.Professional development activities offered by the
  613  provider.
  614         4.Qualifications of instructors for the professional
  615  development activities to be approved.
  616         (b)Providers specified in subsection (1), as well as
  617  providers approved by such entities, are not required to seek
  618  department approval to offer professional development activities
  619  and are not required to be added to the registry. However, such
  620  providers that wish to offer statewide professional development
  621  opportunities may seek department approval and be added to the
  622  registry.
  623         (c)Providers approved by the department must maintain
  624  information that includes, but is not limited to, the
  625  professional development activity, date of the activity, hours
  626  of instruction, and instructor, if applicable. The approved
  627  provider must provide such information to each participant.
  628         (d)The department shall review the professional
  629  development provider application for compliance with
  630  requirements. The department must inform the provider in writing
  631  within 90 days after submission of an application regarding the
  632  approval or denial of the provider. The approval is valid for a
  633  period not to exceed 5 years, after which the provider must
  634  reapply.
  635         1.Each school district shall accept an approved
  636  professional development activity on the registry toward meeting
  637  the requirements of s. 1002.385(3).
  638         2.The department shall determine the number of inservice
  639  hours to be awarded for completion of each specified
  640  professional development activity.
  641         (15)There is created the Professional Development Choice
  642  Pilot Program to be administered by the department for a period
  643  of 3 years, subject to legislative appropriation. The purpose of
  644  the pilot program is to provide grants to eligible teachers to
  645  select professional learning opportunities that best meet each
  646  teacher’s individual needs.
  647         (a)A teacher may use a pilot program grant for
  648  professional development approved by a school district or by a
  649  provider approved by the department pursuant to subsection (14).
  650         1.Professional development must be aligned with the
  651  standards adopted by the state board in rule and standards
  652  adopted by the National Staff Development Council.
  653         2.Training completed under this subsection must comply
  654  with and satisfy the requirements of s. 1012.585(3).
  655         3. Professional learning activities may include, but are
  656  not limited to, in-person or online training; travel and
  657  registration for conferences or workshops; college credit
  658  courses; and district professional development certification and
  659  education competency programs.
  660         (b)To be eligible for a pilot program grant, an individual
  661  must:
  662         1.Hold a professional certificate issued pursuant to s.
  663  1012.56(7)(a);
  664         2. Be employed as a classroom teacher, as defined in s.
  665  1012.01(2)(a), excluding substitute teachers, by a district
  666  school board or by a charter school; and
  667         3.Apply for a grant in a format determined by the
  668  department. The application must require an applicant to
  669  describe how the professional development activity relates to
  670  and will improve instruction in the classroom.
  671         (c)Each classroom teacher eligible under paragraph (b) may
  672  receive a reimbursement for training pursuant to paragraph (a).
  673  The reimbursement for each teacher participating in the pilot
  674  program may not exceed $500 per school year. Each classroom
  675  teacher is eligible for one grant per school year. The pilot
  676  program grants must be awarded on a first-come, first-served
  677  basis.
  678         (d)Each school district shall:
  679         1.Review a proposed professional development activity to
  680  determine alignment with district and individual professional
  681  development plans and determine the number of inservice credit
  682  hours to be awarded; and
  683         2. Approve any professional development opportunity
  684  included on the department’s registry pursuant to subsection
  685  (13).
  686         (e)The department shall:
  687         1.Maintain a registry of approved providers and
  688  professional development activities pursuant to subsection (14).
  689         2.Establish, no later than August 1, 2020, a grant
  690  application form.
  691         Section 10. Section 1012.981, Florida Statutes, is created
  692  to read:
  693         1012.981 Professional Education Excellence Resources Pilot
  694  Program.—
  695         (1)There is established the Professional Education
  696  Excellence Resources (PEER) Pilot Program, administered by the
  697  department, to provide school district flexibility to increase
  698  opportunities for professional learning, collaboration with
  699  teachers and leaders, and teacher leadership.
  700         (2) The PEER Pilot Program is established in Clay,
  701  Pinellas, and Walton Counties.
  702         (3)Participating school districts implementing the PEER
  703  Pilot Program may:
  704         (a)Extend the contract day or the contract year, or both,
  705  for participating teachers for professional development,
  706  collaboration with colleagues, or instructional coaching. A
  707  participating school district that chooses to extend the
  708  contract day or year must, before the start of the 2020-2021
  709  school year, negotiate with the certified collective bargaining
  710  unit for instructional personnel a memorandum of understanding
  711  that addresses the additional duty hours in a week or duty days
  712  in a school year and additional payments based on the salary
  713  scale of the district to teachers who participate in the pilot
  714  program.
  715         (b)Use program funds to:
  716         1.Compensate teachers who are assigned to an extended
  717  school day or school year pursuant to paragraph (a).
  718         2.Hire additional instructional personnel to provide
  719  teachers with additional planning periods or other release time
  720  to complete professional development, collaborate with
  721  colleagues, or perform other appropriate activities.
  722         3.Provide content area specialists to provide support for
  723  teachers’ individual needs and professional growth.
  724         4.Provide instructional coaches for participating
  725  teachers.
  726         5.Provide professional development opportunities.
  727         (4)School districts participating in the pilot program
  728  must collaborate with the department, postsecondary educational
  729  institutions, regional education consortia, the University of
  730  Florida Lastinger Center, or other appropriate organizations to
  731  develop high-quality online professional development
  732  opportunities accessible to instructional personnel statewide.
  733  Such online professional development must:
  734         (a)Be self-paced and available to teachers at any time.
  735         (b)Align with standards for professional development as
  736  described in state board rule.
  737         (c)Protect the private information of participants.
  738         (d)Satisfy requirements for renewal of an educator
  739  certificate.
  740         (e)Include online assessments with timely feedback to
  741  evaluate participant learning measured against program goals.
  742         (5)Participating school districts may use program funds to
  743  establish a master teacher program. The master teacher program
  744  provides accomplished teachers the opportunity to innovate and
  745  improve classroom practices, facilitate improved professional
  746  development, and improve instructional quality through
  747  collaboration with teachers and leaders. School districts shall
  748  determine the specific roles assigned to a master teacher.
  749         (a) Each master teacher program must include, but is not
  750  limited to:
  751         1. Providing release time for planning and meeting with
  752  teachers and leaders;
  753         2. Additional professional development opportunities, to
  754  include participation in local and national conferences or
  755  payments for college credit courses to increase skills or obtain
  756  a higher university degree; and
  757         3. Monetary compensation.
  758         (b)School districts may select for the master teacher
  759  program teachers who were rated highly effective in the previous
  760  school year and may determine other selection criteria, which
  761  may include, but are not limited to, information in performance
  762  evaluations, peer reviews, demonstration of content expertise,
  763  principal recommendation, or candidate interviews.
  764         (c)Each participating school district must collaborate
  765  with the department and with the University of Florida Lastinger
  766  Center to develop a master teacher academy to support
  767  instructional personnel statewide. The master teacher academy
  768  must:
  769         1. Provide recommendations for the selection, training, and
  770  support of district master teachers.
  771         2.Create a bank of online professional development tools
  772  that serve as exemplars for instructional best practices. Such
  773  content may include pedagogy, instructional delivery,
  774  professional learning communities, collaboration, personalized
  775  learning, teacher and student or parent conferencing, positive
  776  behavior supports, and using data to improve instruction.
  777         3.Provide instructional coaching for school-based leaders
  778  and principal supervisors. The content must focus on providing
  779  teachers with actionable feedback on performance.
  780         (6) Each school district participating in the PEER Pilot
  781  Program must annually, by August 1, report to the Governor, the
  782  President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of
  783  Representatives, and the department on the performance of the
  784  pilot program. Each report must include, but is not limited to:
  785         (a) The use of the pilot program funds.
  786         (b) The impact of the pilot program on student achievement.
  787         (c) The impact of the pilot program on teacher annual
  788  evaluations.
  789         (d) The results of satisfaction surveys given to pilot
  790  program participants.
  791         (e) Recommendations for continuation of the pilot program
  792  and for scaling the pilot program for statewide implementation.
  793         (7) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to
  794  administer this section.
  795         (8) This section shall be implemented only to the extent
  796  specifically funded and authorized by law.
  797         Section 11. Subsection (1) of section 1012.586, Florida
  798  Statutes, is amended to read:
  799         1012.586 Additions or changes to certificates; duplicate
  800  certificates.—A school district may process via a Department of
  801  Education website certificates for the following applications of
  802  public school employees:
  803         (1) Addition of a subject coverage or endorsement to a
  804  valid Florida certificate on the basis of the completion of the
  805  appropriate subject area testing requirements of s.
  806  1012.56(5)(b) s. 1012.56(5)(a) or the completion of the
  807  requirements of an approved school district program or the
  808  inservice components for an endorsement.
  809         (a) To reduce duplication, the department may recommend the
  810  consolidation of endorsement areas and requirements to the State
  811  Board of Education.
  812         (b) By July 1, 2018, and at least once every 5 years
  813  thereafter, the department shall conduct a review of existing
  814  subject coverage or endorsement requirements in the elementary,
  815  reading, and exceptional student educational areas. The review
  816  must include reciprocity requirements for out-of-state
  817  certificates and requirements for demonstrating competency in
  818  the reading instruction professional development topics listed
  819  in s. 1012.98(4)(b)11. The review must also consider the award
  820  of an endorsement to an individual who holds a certificate
  821  issued by an internationally recognized organization that
  822  establishes standards for providing evidence-based interventions
  823  to struggling readers or who completes a postsecondary program
  824  that is accredited by such organization. Any such certificate or
  825  program must require an individual who completes the certificate
  826  or program to demonstrate competence in reading intervention
  827  strategies through clinical experience. At the conclusion of
  828  each review, the department shall recommend to the state board
  829  changes to the subject coverage or endorsement requirements
  830  based upon any identified instruction or intervention strategies
  831  proven to improve student reading performance. This paragraph
  832  does not authorize the state board to establish any new
  833  certification subject coverage.
  835  The employing school district shall charge the employee a fee
  836  not to exceed the amount charged by the Department of Education
  837  for such services. Each district school board shall retain a
  838  portion of the fee as defined in the rules of the State Board of
  839  Education. The portion sent to the department shall be used for
  840  maintenance of the technology system, the web application, and
  841  posting and mailing of the certificate.
  842         Section 12. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.