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corner of content windowHurricane Frances News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 8, 2004

Memorandum

DATE: September 8, 2004
TO: Interested Media
FROM: Jill Bratina, Governor's Communications Director
RE: Governor's Executive Order Number 04-202

Please see the attached Executive Order Number 04-202 regarding education.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please call the Governor's press office at (850) 488-5394.

# # #

STATE OF FLORIDA
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
EXECUTIVE ORDER NUMBER 04-202

(EDUCATION)

   WHEREAS, Hurricane Charley came ashore on August 13, 2004, causing significant destruction to life and property as it traveled through Florida; and
   WHEREAS, I declared a state of emergency in the whole state of Florida by Executive Order 04-182, and as a result of damage caused by Hurricane Charley the federal government has declared at least twenty-five (25) counties to be federal disaster areas; and
   WHEREAS, on August 20, 2004, I entered Executive Order 04-186 to specifically address Hurricane Charley emergency response education issues related to damages to local educational facilities, loss of power and other infrastructure and displacement of teachers and other educational personnel as well as displacement of students and families; and
   WHEREAS, Hurricane Frances came ashore on September 4, 2004, causing additional significant destruction to life and property as it traveled through Florida; and
   WHEREAS, I further declared a state of emergency in the whole state of Florida by Executive Order 04-192, and as a result of additional damage caused by Hurricane Frances the federal government has now declared at least twenty-seven (27) counties designated to be federal disaster areas; and
   WHEREAS, within many of these counties there has been damage to local educational facilities, loss of power and other infrastructure and displacement of teachers and other educational personnel as well as displacement of students and families; and
   WHEREAS, after the preservation of life and limb, making sure that all of Florida's students are able to receive an education is my highest priority; and
   WHEREAS, to accomplish this in the aftermath of both Hurricane Charley's and Hurricane Frances' disruptions to the start of the school year will in many circumstances require extraordinary cooperation and efforts on behalf of local, state, and federal agencies to support this effort; and
   WHEREAS, as Governor, I have the ability and the responsibility to waive State laws and regulations in times of emergency to the extent necessary to deal with the emergency, and do hereby consider the reestablishment or provision of educational services to Florida's students a present emergency;
   NOW, THEREFORE, I, JEB BUSH, as Governor of Florida, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Article IV, Section 1(a) of the Florida Constitution and by the Florida Emergency Management Act, as amended, and all other applicable laws, do hereby promulgate the following Executive Order, to take immediate effect:

   Section 1. I hereby incorporate Executive Order 04-186, as amended, by reference into this Executive Order, and all orders and actions taken by [or deadlines established by] the Commissioner of Education and the Department of Education in connection with Hurricane Charley under the authority of Executive Order 04-186, as amended, are hereby ratified and extended as if issued on this date. Executive Order 04-186, as amended, is also hereby extended, so that its date of expiration will coincide with the expiration of this Executive Order.

  Section 2. To enable school districts to provide services in the aftermath of Hurricane Frances, for those districts which have been declared a federal disaster area, only to the extent necessitated by Hurricane Frances' destruction and for the purpose of enabling educational services to expeditiously resume, I authorize the waiving of the following statutes and regulations:

A. The requirements of Section 1003.03, Florida Statutes, pertaining to district requirements as to class size requirements. To the extent a district is unable to comply with class size requirements for the 04-05 fiscal year, and only to the extent their lack of compliance is a result of Hurricane Frances, they shall not be considered in non-compliance.

B. The requirement of Section 1011.60, Florida Statutes, that a school year shall be no less than 180 days is waived to the extent districts were unable to open on their normal schedule as a result of Hurricane Frances, and do not have extra days in the schedule that could constitute makeup days. Each potentially affected district shall be required to support the extent of the requested waiver to the Commissioner of Education prior to the waiver being granted.

C. The requirements of Section 1003.22, Florida Statutes, requiring school entry health examinations and requirements for immunization are suspended for a period of thirty days for students in the declared disaster districts to the extent a student's failure to comply is attributable to Hurricane Frances, unless there is an individual determination that admitting a student under this waiver would constitute a clear and present medical danger.

D. The requirements of Sections 1002.39, 1003.38 and 220.187, Florida Statutes, which could cause students using a McKay or Opportunity or Corporate Tax Credit scholarship to lose eligibility for the scholarship if they re-enroll in the public school are waived to the extent the student re-enrolls in the public school system because of Hurricane Frances' impact on the private school the student was enrolled in.

E. The requirements of Chapter 447, Florida Statutes, that districts follow the collective bargaining agreements reached with employees under Chapter 447, Florida Statutes, is waived to the extent these requirements hinder the district in dealing with Hurricane Frances' impact. The district shall notify the union in writing to the extent the district has waived requirements of the collective bargaining agreement.

F. The requirements of Section 1013, Florida Statutes, relating to educational facilities are waived only to the extent needed to deal with the impact of Hurricane Frances if a superintendent makes a determination that using a facility to temporarily deal with the results of Hurricane Frances does not present a clear and present danger to students or staff. The facilities staff in the Department of Education shall be notified when a superintendent makes such a determination.

  Section 3. To enable the expeditious provision of higher education at institutions that serve students from declared disaster areas, to the extent necessitated by Hurricane Frances' destruction and for the purpose of enabling educational services to expeditiously resume, I authorize the waiving of the following statutes and regulations:

A. The requirements of Rule 6A-10.019, Florida Administrative Code, to the extent it requires colleges to start on a specific calendar day is waived only to the extent colleges are unable to open because of the impact of Hurricane Frances, and any waiver under this provision shall be for no greater than 10 days.

B. In regard to the requirements of Chapter 1009, Florida Statutes, any university or college may on an individual basis waive the timeliness requirement for initial tuition payments or fees, if the student is from a declared disaster district and unable to meet the deadlines as a result of Hurricane Frances.

Section 4. To the extent that there are federal statutes, rules or regulations from which it may be necessary to seek waiver, I ask the Department of Education to coordinate with the local education authorities on any such needs and to coordinate with my office in expeditiously seeking needed federal waivers.

Section 5. To the extent that timelines have been established by the Department of Education, in the context of reports, applications, contracts, or grants, I ask the Department to expeditiously review all such requirements and take steps to, as needed, waive such requirements for individuals or entities located in disaster areas, taking care that any such waivers should not unnecessarily slow down the processing of competitive grant applications for the rest of the state.

  Section 6. Knowing that recovery after a hurricane is an evolving process, and that there may be a need to make further waivers and adjustments to statutes and rules during the course of recovery operations, I ask all the educational entities in the declared disaster areas to closely coordinate with the Department of Education and the State Coordinating Officer to seek such adjustments.

   This Executive Order shall expire sixty (60) days from the date hereof unless extended.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Florida to be affixed, at Tallahassee, the Capitol, this 8th day of September, 2004.

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Last updated: July 08, 2005

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