The duties of the Department of Education concerning distance learning include, but are not limited to, the duty to:
(1) Facilitate the implementation of a statewide coordinated system and resource system for cost-efficient advanced telecommunications services and distance education which will increase overall student access to education.
(2) Coordinate the use of existing resources, including, but not limited to, the state’s satellite transponders, the Florida Information Resource Network (FIRN), the Florida Knowledge Network, and distance learning initiatives.
(3) Assist in the coordination of the utilization of the production and uplink capabilities available through Florida’s public television stations, eligible facilities, independent colleges and universities, private firms, and others as needed.
(4) Seek the assistance and cooperation of Florida’s cable television providers in the implementation of the statewide advanced telecommunications services and distance learning network.
(5) Seek the assistance and cooperation of Florida’s telecommunications carriers to provide affordable student access to advanced telecommunications services and to distance learning.
(6) Coordinate partnerships for development, acquisition, use, and distribution of distance learning.
(7) Secure and administer funding for programs and activities for distance learning from federal, state, local, and private sources and from fees derived from services and materials.
(8) Manage the state’s satellite transponder resources and enter into lease agreements to maximize the use of available transponder time. All net revenue realized through the leasing of available transponder time, after deducting the costs of performing the management function, shall be recycled to support the public education distance learning in this state based upon an allocation formula of one-third to the Department of Education, one-third to 1community colleges, and one-third to state universities. (9) Hire appropriate staff which may include a position that shall be exempt from part II of chapter 110 and is included in the Senior Management Service in accordance with s. 110.205.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to abrogate, supersede, alter, or amend the powers and duties of any state agency, district school board, 1community college board of trustees, university board of trustees, the Board of Governors, or the State Board of Education.