USF is fast becoming the place to be seen for national figures. Hot on the heels of a visit from Gordon England, secretary of the Navy, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has selected USF as the venue for the signing of a new education bill.
Bush, accompanied by Lt. Gov. Frank Brogan, will sign the School Code Rewrite Bill at 11:00 a.m. Thursday in the TECO Room of the College of Education building.
The education bill, comprised of the rewrite of the 1,800-page school code document, has been completed following several months of work by the Florida Board of Education and legislative staff in consultation with university and college lobbyists. The school code contains all the laws that education institutes are required to adhere to. The rewrite was necessary as the current Florida School Code expires in January 2003.
Kathleen Betancourt, associate vice president for Government Relations, said the university is an appropriate venue for the signing because USF contributed to the development of the bill.
“We were involved in the practical aspects of the bill to make sure it would work on a day-to-day basis,” Betancourt said.
Betancourt said the new bill was a complete rewrite of the school code encompassing all levels of education from kindergarten until grad school. The philosophy behind the bill, Betancourt said, was the divestiture of decision-making from state government to local boards of trustees, allowing educational institutions more control over local education issues.
Also attending the signing ceremony will be Commissioner of Education Charlie Crist, Florida Board of Education Secretary Jim Horne, Florida Board of Education Chairman Phil Handy and several members of the House of Representatives. USF President Judy Genshaft and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Dick Beard will represent the university at the ceremony.
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