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August 2, 2001

CONTACT: Lauren Cain
Director of Communications
Or Joann Carrin

Education Commissioner and Secretary Announce Partnership for Success to Transition to K-20 Governance

Florida Education Commissioner Charlie Crist and Florida Board of Education Secretary Jim Horne today announced the components of their "Partnership for Success" to create a smooth and orderly transition to a seamless, student-centered K-20 education governance structure.

With the passage of the Education Governance Reorganization Implementation Act, the 2001 Florida Legislature created the position of Secretary of the Florida Board of Education to serve as the chief transition officer during the reorganization. The Commissioner and the Secretary will work together to accomplish a smooth transition from the current system to the new K-20 structure overseen by the Florida Board of Education.

The "Partnership for Success" features seven key decision areas on which the Commissioner and the Secretary will confer to move forward in the transition period now through January 7, 2003. The Partnership for Success will feature:

  • Joint decisions on all Department of Education personnel decisions
  • A joint timeline for implementing each stage of the reorganization
  • Joint discussion and agreement on decisions regarding major discretionary contracts and grants
  • Development of a joint communications plan to keep Department of Education employees informed of the reorganization
  • Joint budget planning for the 2002-2003 school year
  • On-going discussion of operational decisions
  • Coordination of public appearances regarding education

"Florida has undertaken a monumental task in reorganizing what may be the largest segment of government," Secretary Horne said. "Working with Commissioner Crist, I know we will successfully accomplish the transition to a new way of doing business for Florida’s students."

"This is a necessary part of the transition to a new governance system," Commissioner Crist said. "I will be working closely with Secretary Horne to help shape this agency and its policies for the demands of a new century."

The Florida Board of Education at its first meeting identified three major expectations for the Secretary and the Commissioner to accomplish:

  • The reorganization of the Florida Department of Education to support a seamless, student-centered K-20 structure. This will include reorganizing the Office of the Commissioner and divisions within DOE to reflect the focus and services of the new structure;
  • The development of a realistic, unified K-20 education budget; and
  • A rewrite of the Florida School Code to reflect the guiding principles of the new governance structure: student-centered; seamless; access to quality educational programs; academic excellence; and local flexibility and accountability.

The Commissioner and Secretary work together with the Education Leadership Team to implement all aspects of the Education Governance Reorganization Implementation Act approved by the 2001 Florida Legislature. The Education Leadership Team consists of the chancellors from each division overseeing a sector of public education, the executive director of the Division of Independent Education and a representative of the Governor’s Office.

The position of Commissioner of Education will transition from an elected position to one appointed by the Florida Board of Education in January 2003. The transition is the result of the passage of a constitutional amendment in 1998, which reorganized the Florida Cabinet and called for the creation of an appointed Education Commissioner.

In the interim, the Legislature created the position of Secretary to the Florida Board of Education to oversee the reorganization and to work with the Commissioner to accomplish a smooth transition to a new governance structure.