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PRESS RELEASE

August 21, 2007

Tom Butler
(850) 245-0413

Department of Education Launches New Teacher Misconduct Web Site

TALLAHASSEE Ė The Florida Department of Education today launched a new Web site that enables the general public to check if disciplinary action has been taken against a Florida educatorís certificate. Using an online database, visitors to the site are able to obtain information on teacher misconduct cases brought to the state level. Currently, the available information includes action dates, complaint summaries and descriptions of final outcomes, including any penalties that may have been applied to an educator's certificate. Similar to other licensed professionals such as physicians, accountants and pharmacists, Florida educators are subject to action against their certificate for substantiated misconduct.

"The Department is committed to the safety and protection of our students," said Commissioner Blomberg. "In creating this new Web site, we further empower parents by providing them with simple, easy-to-use access to information about an educatorís disciplinary history.Ē

In order to view the disciplinary information, interested individuals should visit www.myfloridateacher.com, where they can enter the name of the educator in which they are interested. Searches can be refined to include the whole state or specific school districts. A search yielding no results indicates that no actions have been taken against that specific educatorís teaching certificate on or after January 1, 2007. The Department will continue to update the website on a regular basis to ensure that data is as current as possible.

Disciplinary action against an educatorís certificate can range from a letter of reprimand, to a suspension or revocation of the certificate. The Web site will not display information on current investigations, which is confidential. Additionally, criminal charges listed on the site do not necessarily indicate the individual has plead guilty to, or been convicted of, the criminal offense.

The Department of Education also encourages parents and administrators desiring more information on teacher misconduct policies and procedures to visit the Bureau of Professional Practices Web site at www.fldoe.org/edstandards. This Web site includes a Frequently Asked Questions section, flow chart of procedures, school district contact information and hearing notices of the Education Practices Commission.

The Department of Educationís Bureau of Professional Practices Services investigates alleged wrongdoings by educators in Florida who hold a Florida Educator Certificate. Penalties against a certificate are issued by the Education Practices Commission. The Education Practices Commission is a quasi-judicial body of peers and lay persons established in law who determine what penalties should be applied in teacher misconduct cases.

Parents requesting additional information regarding teacher misconduct can contact the Bureau of Professional Practices Services at (850) 245-0438. For details regarding the procedures of the Education Practices Commission please contact (850) 245-0455.