As we close out the 2019-2020 school year, I just want to take a
moment to reflect upon the tremendous challenges we have faced – and continue
to confront – in public education.
As public educators, we have faced numerous crises in the past –
hurricanes, recessions, and numerous social challenges. However, none of those
compare to – or could have prepared us for – the challenges associated with the
I can say with all honestly that in my more than 50 years in
public education, I could not be prouder of Florida district school
superintendents and their staff. The tremendous job each of you and your teams
have done to ensure that Florida public education students continue to receive
a quality education during this crisis has been nothing short of spectacular!
Public schools are the cornerstone of every community, and this
current crisis has certainly shone a light upon the critical roles that public
schools play in the lives our students, their families and our communities as a
In addition to educating students, we all know that school
districts across our state have played a crucial role in continuing to provide
food and other basic necessities to those students that are dependent upon it.
Why? Because taking care of students has always been the first
priority of public education and educators – and it is the right thing to do.
Throughout all the challenges and chaos, it has been gratifying to
see the camaraderie and sharing of information and resources between superintendents
and across school districts. We are all in this together and will continue to
navigate this new crisis side-by-side and hand-in-hand.
I know there are a lot of unanswered questions and uncertainly as
we move forward toward school reopening, however we will weather this storm
together and come out stronger in the end.
Thank you again for everything you, your
administrators and staff are doing for Florida’s students, their families, and