1. News
  2. /
  3. Gradebook

State seeks to cut reporting time after schools learn of employees’ bad acts

The Department of Education signals a desire to move quickly in removing offenders’ certification.
The Florida Department of Education has proposed a new rule cutting the time superintendents have to report misconduct by employees. [Scott Keeler / Tampa Bay Times]
Published Aug. 13

The Florida Board of Education is poised to require school superintendents to act more quickly when they learn of misconduct by teachers or administrators that could put children at risk.

The board is set to consider a rule this month that would reduce the time allowed to report arrests, convictions or substantial allegations of 10 felony and one misdemeanor crimes, including murder, sexual activity with minors and enticing minors.

They would have 24 hours to send an email notification to the department, instead of the current 30 days.

Read the proposed rule here.

Department officials have recommended this change on the heels of a Miami Herald report about a middle school physical education teacher who faced several accusations of sexual misconduct involving students over 11 years. Also this year, Gov. Ron DeSantis removed Okaloosa County superintendent Mary Beth Jackson from office, amid accusations that she did not properly respond to allegations of teachers physically abusing children with special needs.

An Okaloosa teacher has been convicted on charges related to the abuse.

In its notification of the rule proposal, the department made clear it wants the change so it can take rapid action against any offenders. The notice states the information provided would become “the basis of a complaint to recommend revocation, suspension or other penalty of a educator’s certificate and ... provide the Commissioner information so that he can exercise his authority to request the reassignment of personnel from direct student contact.”

Under Richard Corcoran, named commissioner in January, the department has taken several strides to increase its oversight of districts and schools to ensure they meet state expectations. This recommended rule is the latest such effort.

RELATED: Getting tough: Florida’s education chief Richard Corcoran tells school districts to fall in line


  1. Representatives from the United School Employees of Pasco, on the left, present their latest pay request to the district's bargaining team during talks on Oct. 24, 2019. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff
    Teachers have yet to reach a deal on their contract.
  2. The Florida House Education Committee focuses on early education in its first meeting of the 2020 session. It has met just once more since then. The Florida Channel
    Lawmakers have yet to set an aggressive agenda beyond talk of teacher pay as the 2020 legislative session nears.
  3. FILE - In a Monday, Dec. 11, 2017 file photo, transgender teen Drew Adams, left, leaves the U. S. Courthouse with his mother Erica Adams Kasper after the first day of his trial about bathroom rights at Nease High School, in Jacksonville, Fla. The transgender student's fight over school bathrooms comes before a federal appeals court Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, setting the stage for a groundbreaking ruling. Drew Adams, who has since graduated from Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, won a lower court ruling in 2018 ordering the St. Johns County school district to allow him to use the boys' restroom. (Will Dickey/The Florida Times-Union via AP, File) WILL DICKEY  |  AP
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  4. A bird's-eye view of USF St. Petersburg, which this week announced a new member of the Campus Board. She is Melissa Seixas, a Duke Energy executive who earned her master's degree at USF.
    News and notes about K-12 schools and colleges in Pinellas County.
  5. An LGBTQ Pride march participant walks under a large rainbow flag in New York earlier this year. School Board policy regarding LGBTQ students has been a frequent topic of discussion in recent months in Pasco County. CRAIG RUTTLE  |  AP
    The discourse is more civil and respectful, two weeks after a session that many deemed hate-filled and vile.
  6. The Florida Legislature so far has has left Gov. Ron DeSantis to set most education policy priorities for 2020.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  7. "Miss Virginia," a film about school choice, will be screened at the Tampa Theatre on Dec. 10.
    “Miss Virginia” will be playing at the Tampa Theater on Tuesday.
  8. Florida Senator Tom Lee, R- Thonotosassa. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times] SCOTT KEELER  |  TAMPA BAY TIMES
    The Senate Education Committee will tackle some high-profile issues in its final meeting before session.
  9. Jennifer Dixon, Pasco County's 2020 Teacher of the Year, thanks her students for making her job 'the job that I love.' JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff
    Jennifer Dixon ‘lives and breathes teaching,’ her principal says.
  10. Third grade teacher Genevieve Beaumier, center, helps Venicia Joanis, 9, left, and Tobias Watkins, 8, with their reading skills at Forest Hill Elementary School in Tampa. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    A roundup of stories from around the state.