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Instructional Contracts, SB 1592

What the bill does

  • SB 1592 (full text) and SB 1602 (full text) each repeal the current law mandating annual contracts that expire at the end of each year for instructional personnel. 
  • SB 1592 provides slightly more flexibility for district by requiring providing an exemption for the contract renewal if the superintendent provides a written reason for the nonrenewal of the contract. 

What’s Next

  • SB 1592 has not yet received its committee assignments. 
  • SB 1602 has not yet received its committee assignments. 

Talking Points

  • Every student deserves to have a highly-qualified, certified teacher for every subject all year long. By removing current policy that has only helped to increase Florida’s teacher shortage, these bills are a good step in ensuring all of Florida’s students revive a world-class education. 
  • The disruption of learning the past three school years has been hard on students, parents and educators alike. Strong schools require continuity and all stakeholders working together. By removing current law that encourages teacher turnover, these bills will help strengthen Florida’s schools.
  • Florida’s teacher shortage started long before Covid, and it did not materialize out of thin air. Instead, the shortage is a direct result of legislation passed in Tallahassee. These bills take corrective action by repealing bad policy and are a step in the right direction to once again making sure all students have a certified, highly-qualified teacher in front of them in every subject all year long.
  • Florida’s educator shortage hurts students and deprives them of the one-on-one attention they deserve and that their parents rightfully expect. While there is no one single cause for the educator shortage, the instability in the labor force caused by annual contracts is undoubtedly a contributing factor.
  • Florida’s educator shortage cannot be solved with recruitment or retention alone. There must be a concerted effort to engage in both. Yet annual contracts hurt out-of-state recruitment and disincentivize retention. Providing the options for districts to offer extended contracts, therefore, helps tackle the twin problem of recruitment and retention.

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The November 8 General Election is just around the corner and education will be a central issue during this critical election season. The FEA Voter Toolkit has election resources and endorsed candidates for local school Boards, the Florida House and Florida Senate, and Governor.

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