Superintendents Recommend Ways to Reduce Red Tape, Regulations

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Tallahassee, Florida - November 10, 2012

A committee of seven school district superintendents completed a series of recommendations, at the request of Governor Rick Scott, on ways to cut through red tape and regulation in Florida’s education system and lead to more instruction time for students.

During his September statewide education listening tour, the Governor and Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart heard from educators across the state about the amount of time spent on unnecessary or outdated state regulations. The Governor asked a committee of seven superintendents to work with the Department of Education and come up with some specific recommendations.

Governor Rick Scott said, “When I toured schools across Florida and heard teacher’s views on how we can improve learning, cutting burdensome regulations was something we were asked to do in almost every visit. We sought the input of seven superintendents on regulatory areas that need streamlining. We will closely review this report with a focus on removing burdensome requirements to help educators spend more time in the classroom teaching.”

In addition to input from the seven superintendents selected by the Governor, the Department of Education also gathered ideas and suggestions through a statewide survey of the remaining 60 district superintendents. The result was a matrix of recommendations ranging from eliminating the requirement to report how certain documents are disposed of once they are destroyed, to revising the way districts adopt instructional materials. Some recommendations would require changes to statutes, but others only require changes of rules.

“I look forward to continuing to work with the Governor and school leaders to increase student achievement,” said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart. “When we provide relief to school districts from unnecessary regulations that allows them to free up resources and provide more learning time for students. That is a win for students and for Florida’s education system.”

Senator Bill Montford said, “Florida superintendents are very encouraged by, and appreciative of, Governor Scott’s initiative to identify and eliminate outdated, unnecessary and burdensome rules and statutes – many of which ultimately hinder optimal operations within the school district and waste taxpayer dollars. Most of the recommendations focus on reporting requirements and we expect to add other statutes and rules to the list as the dialogue continues to move forward. Gov. Scott has made it a priority to address regulatory burdens, and superintendents not only welcome the opportunity to be part of the process, they look forward to working with the Governor and all stakeholders as we take a comprehensive look at ways to minimize burdensome regulations, with and end-goal of further enhancing Florida’s public education system.”

The seven superintendents selected to recommend regulations for elimination were:

· William Husfelt, Superintendent, Bay County Public School District

· Robert Runcie, Superintendent, Broward County Public School District

· Dr. Douglas Whittaker, Superintendent, Charlotte County Public School District

· Wallace Cox, Superintendent, Highlands County Public School District

· Dr. Barbara Jenkins, Superintendent, Orange County Public School District

· Dr. Joseph Joyner, Superintendent, St. Johns County Public School District

· Dr. Margaret Smith, Superintendent, Volusia County Public School District

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