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The Florida Statutes

The 2001 Florida Statutes

Title XVI
Education
Chapter 229
Functions Of State Educational Agencies
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Section 229.0073, Florida Statutes 2001

229.0073  Reorganization of the Department of Education.--Effective July 1, 2001, notwithstanding the provisions of s. 20.15, the secretary's Education Reorganization Workgroup is established to direct and provide oversight for the reorganization of Florida's K-20 Department of Education. The workgroup shall be comprised of the Secretary of the Florida Board of Education, the Commissioner of Education, the Governor or his designee, the Chancellor of Colleges and Universities, the Chancellor of Community Colleges, the Chancellor of Public Schools, and the Executive Director of Independent Education, who shall consult with the legislative members of the Education Governance Reorganization Transition Task Force. The reorganization shall:

(1)  Eliminate duplication across divisions; achieve greater efficiencies in financial and human resources and education services; and identify functions, resources, and services that should be eliminated, transferred, or realigned.

(2)  Include a review and assessment of all bureaus, offices, divisions, and functions of the department reorganized pursuant to this section.

(3)  Establish an Office of the Commissioner of Education that includes the general areas of operation that are common to all delivery sectors, such as administration, communication, legal services, financial aid, and government and public relations, in order to increase efficiency, improve service delivery to students, and fully support the operational needs of the Florida Board of Education.

(4)  Establish the following divisions within the department:

(a)  Division of Public Schools (K-12).--The state's public elementary, middle, junior high, and high schools, as well as combination schools, charter schools, district magnet programs, and area technical centers.

(b)  Division of Community Colleges.--The state's 28 public community colleges.

(c)  Division of Colleges and Universities.--The state's public universities and colleges and the 4-year independent colleges and universities whose students are eligible to receive the William L. Boyd, IV, Florida resident access grants pursuant to s. 240.605, to enable more effective articulation between these public and private institutions. The division chancellor shall administer those provisions of chapter 246 that apply to the independent colleges and universities within the division and shall establish a liaison responsible for partnerships that enhance articulation between and communication with Florida's 4-year independent colleges and universities.

(d)  Division of Independent Education.--The independent education providers within the state, including home education programs that meet the requirements of s. 232.0201, private K-12 institutions as described in s. 229.808, independent colleges and universities, except those identified under paragraph (c), and private postsecondary career preparation and vocational training institutions.

1.  The division shall be under an executive director and shall house a new commission, appointed by the Governor, to oversee licensing of independent postsecondary institutions, consumer protection, and program improvement. The commission shall have the powers and duties of the State Board of Independent Colleges and Universities specified in chapter 246, except the powers and duties relating to those institutions identified under paragraph (c), and of the State Board of Nonpublic Career Education.

2.  The division shall serve as the advocate for and liaison to the independent education providers identified in this paragraph.

3.  The executive director of the division shall establish a mechanism for regular interaction and input from independent education providers in the development of policies that provide seamless articulation for all students.

4.  The division shall afford students and parents educational options apart from the public K-20 system.

(5)  Establish the following offices within the Office of the Commissioner of Education which shall coordinate their activities with all other divisions and offices:

(a)  Office of Technology and Information Services.--In conjunction with the Chancellor of Public Schools, the Chancellor of Community Colleges, and the Chancellor of Colleges and Universities, the office shall be responsible for developing a systemwide technology plan, making budget recommendations to the commissioner, providing data collection and management for the system, and coordinating services with other state, local, and private agencies. The office shall develop a method to address the need for a statewide approach to planning and operations of library and information services to achieve a single K-20 education system library information portal and a unified higher education library management system. The Florida Virtual High School shall be administratively housed within the office.

(b)  Office of Workforce and Economic Development.--The office shall evaluate the role of each sector of education in Florida's workforce and economic development, assess the specific work skills and variety of careers provided, and report to the Florida Board of Education the effectiveness of each sector.

(c)  Office of Educational Facilities and SMART Schools Clearinghouse.--The office shall validate all educational plant surveys and verify Florida Inventory of School Houses (FISH) data. The office shall provide technical assistance to public school districts when requested. The office, staff, property, and functions of the SMART Schools Clearinghouse are transferred by a type two transfer, pursuant to s. 20.06(2), from the Department of Management Services to the Office of Educational Facilities and SMART Schools Clearinghouse within the Office of the Commissioner of Education.

(d)  Office of Student Financial Assistance.--The office shall provide access to and administer state and federal grants, scholarships, and loans to those students seeking financial assistance for postsecondary study pursuant to program criteria and eligibility requirements.

(6)  Establish a K-20 education leadership team, including, but not limited to, the Secretary of the Florida Board of Education and the education governance officers. The leadership team shall be responsible for systemwide horizontal and vertical communication, and assisting the achievement of the seamless K-20 education system.

History.--s. 11, ch. 2001-170.

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