Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability
Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Education System

For assistance, call 850-245-0505 or visit FLDOE.ORG

What are the guiding principles of Florida's education system?

The guiding principles for Florida's K-20 education system are to provide a coordinated, seamless system for kindergarten through graduate school that is student-centered, maximizes education access, and allows the opportunity for a high quality education for all Floridians.

What are the components of Florida's public education system?

Florida's public education system consists of several components.
  • Florida's Early Learning Programs primarily consist of Voluntary Prekindergarten and School Readiness. These programs are designed to increase children's chances of achieving future educational success and becoming productive members of society. The administration of the state's early learning programs includes the Division of Early Learning within the Department of Education at the state level and early learning coalitions at the local level.
  • Florida's public schools provide education for kindergarten, elementary, and secondary school children. Some public schools also provide prekindergarten programs. In addition, public schools provide special classes such as adult education and certificate programs. Public schools and their programs operate under control of local school boards. In addition, developmental research (laboratory) schools operate in affiliation with state universities and are designed to provide a vehicle for research, demonstration, and evaluation regarding management, teaching, and learning.
  • The Florida College System consists of 28 public colleges operated by local boards of trustees, under specific authority and regulations of the State Board of Education. The colleges offer courses and programs of general and academic education equivalent to the first two years of work in state universities. Florida's public colleges also offer career education, including associate in science degrees and certificate programs, adult education, and continuing career education. Twenty-seven Florida colleges currently are approved to offer bachelor's degree programs.
  • The State University System consists of 12 state-supported educational institutions offering baccalaureate degrees and above that are authorized and established by law.

What are the general responsibilities of the Department of Education and the Board of Governors?

More detailed information on the governance of Florida's educational system is available in the program summaries for the State Board of Education and Board of Governors.

How are these activities funded?

As part of the Department of Education's appropriation, local revenue for K-12 school support is derived almost entirely from property taxes levied by Florida's 67 counties, each of which constitutes a school district. Total required local effort for Fiscal Year 2021-22, is over $8 billion.

The source of funding for public higher education includes state general revenue, student tuition and fees, as well as other funds.

State universities are authorized to charge resident undergraduate tuition of $105.07 per credit hour (s. 1009.24, Florida Statutes). More detailed funding information on state universities is available in the State University System summary.

Institutions in the Florida College System are authorized to charge the standard tuition fee of $71.98 per credit hour for residents, and for nonresidents an additional out-of-state fee of $215.94 per credit hour, for advanced and professional, postsecondary vocational, college preparatory, and educator preparation institute programs. Institutions charge $91.79 per credit hour for resident tuition for baccalaureate degree programs (s. 1009.23, Florida Statutes).

For career education programs, school districts and technical centers are authorized to charge the standard tuition fee of $2.33 per contact hour for residents and nonresidents and the out-of-state fee of $6.99 per contact hour for programs leading to a career certificate or an applied technology diploma (s. 1009.22, Florida Statutes).

The Department of Education's appropriation also includes funds for private colleges and universities. The purpose is to enhance Florida student access to programs at private colleges and universities or fund specific programs offered by private colleges and universities.

Fiscal Year: 2022-23
Fund Dollars Positions
EDUCATION, DEPARTMENT OF
BLIND SERVICES, DIVISION OF
57,870,593
289.75
EARLY LEARNING
PROGRAM: EARLY LEARNING SERVICES
3,882,384,236
98.00
FLORIDA COLLEGES, DIVISION OF
PROGRAM: FLORIDA COLLEGES
1,527,791,744
.00
OFFICE OF STUDENT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
PROGRAM: STUDENT FINANCIAL AID PROGRAM - FEDERAL
105,000
.00
PROGRAM: STUDENT FINANCIAL AID PROGRAM - STATE
993,695,716
.00
PROGRAM: EDUCATION - FIXED CAPITAL OUTLAY
3,107,570,867
.00
PROGRAM: PRIVATE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
163,803,185
.00
PUBLIC SCHOOLS, DIVISION OF
PROGRAM: EDUCATIONAL MEDIA & TECHNOLOGY SERVICES
11,029,998
.00
PROGRAM: FEDERAL GRANTS K/12 PROGRAM
10,223,726,558
.00
PROGRAM: STATE GRANTS/K-12 PROGRAM - FEFP
13,553,672,086
.00
PROGRAM: STATE GRANTS/K-12 PROGRAM - NON FEFP
687,948,368
679.50
PROGRAM: WORKFORCE EDUCATION
582,138,979
.00
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION
675,889,158
940.00
UNIVERSITIES, DIVISION OF
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
15,458,071
69.00
PROGRAM: EDUCATIONAL AND GENERAL ACTIVITIES
5,624,058,758
.00
VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION
244,872,845
884.00
TOTAL
41,352,016,162
2,960.25

Updates

Individual Freedom. The 2022 Legislature enacted Ch. 2022-72Laws of Florida, which includes provisions designed to protect individual freedoms and prevent discrimination in the workplace and in public schools. The lawl also conforms the identification of protected classes in the law prohibiting discrimination in Florida’s K-20 educational system to those identified in federal law and the Florida Civil Rights Act. 

Civil Rights in Employment and K-20 Education. The law specifies that subjecting any individual, as a condition of employment, membership, certification, licensing, credentialing, or passing an examination, to training, instruction, or any other required activity; or subjecting any K-20 public education student or employee to training or instruction, that espouses, promotes, advances, inculcates, or compels such individual to believe in the following concepts constitutes an unlawful employment practice or unlawful discrimination. 

  • Members of one race, color, national origin, or sex are morally superior to members of another race, color, national origin, or sex.
  • A person, by virtue of his or her race, color, national origin, or sex is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.
  • A person's moral character or status as either privileged or oppressed is necessarily determined by his or her race, color, national origin, or sex.
  • Members of one race, color, national origin, or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race, color, national origin, or sex.
  • A person, by virtue of his or her race, color, national origin, or sex bears responsibility for, or should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment because of, actions committed in the past by other members of the same race, color, national origin, or sex.
  • A person, by virtue of his or her race, color, national origin, or sex should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment to achieve diversity, equity, or inclusion.
  • A person, by virtue of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin, bears personal responsibility for and must feel guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress because of actions, in which the person played no part, committed in the past by other members of the same race, color, national origin, or sex.
  • Such virtues as merit, excellence, hard work, fairness, neutrality, objectivity, and racial colorblindness are racist or sexist, or were created by members of a particular race, color, national origin, or sex to oppress members of another race, color, national origin, or sex.

Required Instruction. The law defines individual freedoms based on the fundamental truth that all individuals are equal before the law and have inalienable rights. Accordingly, required instruction, instructional materials, and professional development in public schools must be consistent with the following principles of individual freedom:.

  • No person is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex.
  • No race is inherently superior to another race.
  • No person should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, or sex.
  • Meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are not racist but fundamental to the right to pursue happiness and be rewarded for industry.
  • A person, by virtue of his or her race or sex, does not bear responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.
  • A person should not be instructed that he or she must feel guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress for actions, in which he or she played no part, committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex. 

Among its provisions the law also authorizes discussion and curricula, in an age-appropriate manner, regarding topics such as sexism, slavery, racial oppression, racial segregation, and racial discrimination but instruction and curricula may not be used to indoctrinate or persuade students to a particular point of view inconsistent with the principles of individual freedom or state academic standards. In addition, the law expands required instruction in the history of African-Americans. For example, the law requires that African-American history instruction develop in students an understanding of the ramifications of prejudice, racism, and stereotyping on individual freedoms, and examine what it means to be a responsible and respectful person, for the purpose of encouraging tolerance of diversity and for nurturing and protecting democratic values and institutions. 

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

Other Reports
The Auditor General reports on department operations are available on its website.
Websites of Interest
Florida Department of Education, Division of K-12 Public Schools
Florida Department of Education, Career and Adult Education
Florida State Board of Education
Florida Department of Education, Office of Student Financial Assistance
Florida Department of Education, Division of Florida Colleges
Florida Board of Governors
Performance Information
Performance measures and standards for universities may be found in the Board of Governor's strategic plan and accountability plans.


Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan.

What are the applicable statutes?

Article IX, Constitution of the State of Florida; and Title XLVIII, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Florida Department of Education, Office of the Commissioner, 850-245-0505, email: Commissioner@fldoe.org
Florida College System, Office of the Chancellor, 850-245-0407, email: ChancellorFCS@fldoe.org
Florida Board of Governors, Office of the Chancellor, 850-245-0466, email: Chancellor@flbog.edu

Florida Department of Education
State University System of Florida, Board of Governors