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Press Release

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

DOE Press Office
850-245-0413

Governor Scott Recognizes Florida Educators During State of the State Address

Tallahassee, Fla., March 5, 2013 - Governor Rick Scott drew attention to two Florida educators during the annual State of the State Address today marking the beginning of the 2013 legislative session. The governor recognized a superintendent and a teacher as he drove home his message about investing in education to members of the Florida House and Senate and guests who filled the Capitol chamber.

Orange County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Barbara Jenkins was a classroom teacher, staff developer, principal, and assistant superintendent before taking on the role of superintendent. She served as one of seven school district superintendents who completed a series of recommendations, at the request of Governor Scott, on ways to cut through red tape and regulation in Florida's education system that would lead to more instruction time for students. She is committed to increasing equity among schools and supports teacher incentives to keep the best and the brightest in the Sunshine State.

"It is an exciting day for Florida's education system as Governor Rick Scott unveils his Families First Budget and his bold vision of every student in Florida graduating prepared for success in college and career," said Dr. Jenkins. "The governor's commitment to public education and Florida's future is clearly demonstrated by the significant investment he recommends and I look forward to working with him and other education stakeholders during the legislative session."

Governor Scott also recognized Elizabeth Heli a science teacher at Greco Middle School in Temple Terrace. Heli has worked in the classroom for seven years. Prior to that she was an engineer, but felt more female role models were needed in schools to motivate young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). She now heads up a robotics team at Greco and spends time promoting STEM at her school. Over the summer, she runs a robotics camp for girls at Hillsborough Community College. She also works with at-risk students to inspire them to take an interest in science and consider career paths that use the subject knowledge she teaches in the classroom.

"As a teacher with a STEM focus I am excited by the Governor's leadership to encourage more students into this field of study," said Heli. "A student with a strong STEM foundation will be better prepared and more competitive in the 21st century workforce. I am grateful Governor Scott has come out with a commanding budget proposal in Florida Families First and for his commitment to Florida's teachers."

Governor Scott's $18.5 billion budget being proposed for public schools is a $1.2 billion increase over last year and includes $480 million for teacher salary increases and $412.25 per student increase overall in Florida Education Finance Program or FEFP (the formula used to calculate per pupil funding) - a total of $6,799 per student.

Links to Governor Scott's State of the State Address and information pertaining to it are available below.

2013 State of the State Address
Biographies of 2013 Guests of Governor Scott
Creating Jobs for Florida Families Information
Building Up Florida Manufacturing Information