eLaws of Florida

  SECTION 1012.798. Recovery network program for educators.  


Latest version.
  • 1(1) 2RECOVERY NETWORK ESTABLISHED.5-6There is created within the Department of Education, a recovery network program to assist educators who are impaired as a result of alcohol abuse, drug abuse, or a mental condition to obtain treatment. Any person who has applied for or holds certification issued by the department pursuant to s. 551012.56 56is eligible for the program. The individual may access the program voluntarily or be directed to participate through a deferred prosecution agreement with the Commissioner of Education or a final order of the Education Practices Commission pursuant to s. 951012.79696.
    97(2) 98STAFF.99-
    100(a) 101The department shall employ an administrator and staff as are necessary to be assigned exclusively to the recovery network program.
    121(b) 122The Commissioner of Education shall establish the criteria for and appoint the staff of the program.
    138(c) 139The department may contract with other professionals to implement this section.
    150(3) 151PURPOSE.152-153The recovery network program shall assist educators in obtaining treatment and services from approved treatment providers, but each impaired educator must pay for his or her treatment under terms and conditions agreed upon by the impaired educator and the treatment provider. A person who is admitted to the recovery network program must contract with the treatment provider and the program. The treatment contract must prescribe the type of treatment and the responsibilities of the impaired educator and of the provider and must provide that the impaired educator’s progress will be monitored by the recovery network program.
    249(4) 250APPROVAL OF TREATMENT PROVIDERS.254-255The recovery network program shall locate, evaluate, and approve qualified treatment providers.
    267(5) 268RELATIONSHIP WITH EDUCATION PRACTICES COMMISSION AND DEPARTMENT.275-276The recovery network program shall operate independently of, but may cooperate with, the Office of Professional Practices Services of the Department of Education and the Education Practices Commission. A person’s participation in the program entitles the commissioner to enter into a deferred prosecution agreement pursuant to s. 3231012.796, 324or such participation may be considered a factor in mitigation of or a condition of disciplinary action against the person’s certificate by the Education Practices Commission pursuant to s. 3531012.795354.
    355(6) 356PARTICIPATION.357-358The recovery network program shall operate independently of employee assistance programs operated by local school districts, and the powers and duties of school districts to make employment decisions, including disciplinary decisions, is not affected except as provided in this section:
    398(a) 399A person who is not subject to investigation or proceedings under ss. 4111012.795 412and 4131012.796 414may voluntarily seek assistance through a local school district employee assistance program for which he or she is eligible and through the recovery network, regardless of action taken against him or her by a school district. Voluntarily seeking assistance alone does not subject a person to proceedings under ss. 4631012.795 464and 4651012.796466.
    467(b) 468A person who is subject to investigation or proceedings under ss. 4791012.795 480and 4811012.796 482may be required to participate in the program. The program may approve a local employee assistance program as a treatment provider or as a means of securing a treatment provider. The program and the local school district shall cooperate so that the person may obtain treatment without limiting the school district’s statutory powers and duties as an employer or the disciplinary procedures under ss. 5461012.795 547and 5481012.796549.
    550(c) 551A person may be enrolled in a treatment program by the recovery network program after an investigation pursuant to s. 5711012.796 572has commenced, if the person:
    5771. 578Acknowledges his or her impairment.
    5832. 584Agrees to evaluation, as approved by the recovery network.
    5933. 594Agrees to enroll in an appropriate treatment program approved by the recovery network.
    6074. 608Executes releases for all medical and treatment records regarding his or her impairment and participation in a treatment program to the recovery network, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. s. 290dd-3 and the federal regulations adopted thereunder.
    6435. 644Enters into a deferred prosecution agreement with the commissioner, which provides that no prosecution shall be instituted concerning the matters enumerated in the agreement if the person is properly enrolled in the treatment program and successfully completes the program as certified by the recovery network. The commissioner is under no obligation to enter into a deferred prosecution agreement with the educator but may do so if he or she determines that it is in the best interest of the educational program of the state and the educator.
    7316. 732Has not previously entered a substance abuse program.
    7407. 741Is not being investigated for any action involving commission of a felony or violent act against another person.
    7598. 760Has not had multiple arrests for minor drug use, possession, or abuse of alcohol.
    774(7) 775REFERRAL TO NETWORK WHEN NO PROBABLE CAUSE IS DETERMINED.784-785If a complaint is made to the department against a teacher or an administrator pursuant to s. 8021012.796 803and a finding of no probable cause indicates that no concern other than impairment exists, the department shall inform the person of the availability of assistance provided by the recovery network program.
    835(8) 836ADMISSION.837-838A person who is referred or who requests admission to the recovery network program shall be temporarily admitted pending a finding that he or she has:
    864(a) 865Acknowledged his or her impairment problem.
    871(b) 872Agreed to evaluation as approved by the recovery network program.
    882(c) 883Voluntarily enrolled in an appropriate treatment program approved by the recovery network program.
    896(d) 897Voluntarily sought agreement from the school district for temporary leave or limitations on the scope of employment if the temporary leave or limitations are included in the treatment provider’s recommendations; or voluntarily agreed to pursue the alternative treatment recommended by the treatment provider if the school district does not approve such temporary leave or limitations on the scope of employment.
    957(e) 958Executed releases to the recovery network program for all medical and treatment records regarding his or her impairment and participation in a treatment program pursuant to 42 U.S.C. s. 290dd-3 and the federal regulations adopted thereunder.
    994(9) 995DISCLOSURE OF MEDICAL RECORDS.999-1000An approved treatment provider must disclose to the recovery network program all information in its possession which relates to a person’s impairment and participation in the treatment program. Information obtained under this subsection is confidential and exempt from s. 1039119.07(1) 1040and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This exemption is necessary to promote the rehabilitation of impaired educators and to protect the privacy of treatment program participants. The failure to provide such information to the program is grounds for withdrawal of approval of a treatment provider. Medical records provided to the program may not be disclosed to any other person, except as authorized by law.
    1107(10) 1108DECLARATION OF INELIGIBILITY.1111-
    1112(a) 1113A person may be declared ineligible for further assistance from the recovery network program if he or she does not progress satisfactorily in a treatment program or leaves a prescribed program or course of treatment without the approval of the treatment provider.
    1155(b) 1156The determination of ineligibility must be made by the program administrator or designee after review of the circumstances of the case.
    1177(c) 1178If treatment through the program is a condition of a deferred prosecution agreement, and the program administrator determines that the person is ineligible for further assistance, the commissioner may agree to modify the terms and conditions of the deferred prosecution agreement or may issue an administrative complaint, pursuant to s. 12281012.796, 1229alleging the charges regarding which prosecution was deferred. The person may dispute the determination as an affirmative defense to the administrative complaint by including with his or her request for hearing on the administrative complaint a written statement setting forth the facts and circumstances that show that the determination of ineligibility was erroneous. If administrative proceedings regarding the administrative complaint, pursuant to ss. 1292120.569 1293and 1294120.57, 1295result in a finding that the determination of ineligibility was erroneous, the person is eligible to participate in the program. If the determination of ineligibility was the only reason for setting aside the deferred prosecution agreement and issuing the administrative complaint and the administrative proceedings result in a finding that the determination was erroneous, the complaint shall be dismissed and the deferred prosecution agreement reinstated without prejudice to the commissioner’s right to reissue the administrative complaint for other breaches of the agreement.
    1377(d) 1378If treatment through the program is a condition of a final order of the Education Practices Commission, the program administrator’s determination of ineligibility constitutes a finding that the person failed to comply with the final order. Pursuant to ss. 14171012.795 1418and 14191012.796, 1420upon the request of the Department of Education, the clerk of the Education Practices Commission shall issue to the educator an order to show cause, or the Commissioner of Education may issue an administrative complaint in the same manner as for cases based on a failure to comply with an order of the Education Practices Commission.
    1476(e) 1477If the person voluntarily entered into a treatment contract with the program, the program administrator shall issue a written notice stating the reasons for the determination of ineligibility. Within 20 days after the date of such notice, the person may contest the determination of ineligibility pursuant to ss. 1525120.569 1526and 1527120.571528.
    1529(11) 1530MEDICAL RECORDS RELEASE.1533-1534Medical records released pursuant to paragraph (8)(e) may be disclosed to the commissioner, the Office of Professional Practices Services, and the Education Practices Commission only as required for purposes of this section, or as otherwise authorized by law. Further disclosure or release of the medical records may not be made except as authorized by law and in accordance with 42 U.S.C. s. 290dd-2 and the federal regulations adopted thereunder. The medical records are confidential and exempt from s. 1612119.07(1) 1613and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
    1622(12) 1623FEES.1624-1625The State Board of Education shall include in the fees established pursuant to s. 16391012.59 1640an amount sufficient to implement the provisions of this section. The State Board of Education shall by rule establish procedures and additional standards for:
    1664(a) 1665Approving treatment providers, including appropriate qualifications and experience, amount of reasonable fees and charges, and quality and effectiveness of treatment programs provided.
    1687(b) 1688Admitting eligible persons to the program.
    1694(c) 1695Evaluating impaired persons by the recovery network program.
History.-s. 760, ch. 2002-387; s. 23, ch. 2004-295.