District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Howard Liebman of the Smart Horizons Career Online Education school district, today praised Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford’s attention on education in his opening day speech to Florida Legislature.
“We applaud House Speaker Weatherford’s emphasis on improving opportunities through education, including his call to put ‘significant time and energy into fostering economic opportunity through education,’” said Dr. Liebman.
Mr. Weatherford’s (Republican, District 38) March 4 address appealed for an attack “on many fronts” to improve both the quality and accessibility of education on all levels in the State of Florida. He spoke of breaking the bonds of “generational poverty” through “quality education” that enables people to find “good-paying jobs.”
“Weatherford’s remarks are synonymous with the work we are doing with the State of Florida Department of Corrections, the public library system, and our scholarship-matching program with the Clinton Global Initiative,” said Dr. Liebman. “As he put it, we need to be ‘helping students get a job, not just a framed degree.’”
The world’s first AdvancED/SACS accredited private online school district, Smart Horizons Career Online Education was founded in 2009 with a mission to provide affordable, career-based online education opportunities for the millions of adults in the United States without high school diplomas. The district offers an instructional program that enables students—primarily adult high school dropouts—to earn a high school diploma while also completing coursework for a credentialed career certificate.
Smart Horizons Career Online Education has been forming strategic alliances with school districts, post-secondary institutions, community organizations, and non-profit foundations to expand educational opportunities for underserved populations. In 2012, the district partnered with the Florida Department of Corrections to make its online instruction program available to inmates in seven Florida correctional facilities across the state.
Chip Case, a lobbyist working with Smart Horizons Career Online Education to further education interests among Florida legislators, also praised Weatherford for focusing on education in his address.
“I applaud House Speaker Weatherford for speaking on an issue that represents a long-term investment in our communities,” Case said. “This is exactly what’s been going on at Smart Horizons Career Online Education—giving people who have had difficulty completing their education because of social or economic reasons another opportunity. Some may have left the educational system on their own choice. Now, these individuals have an opportunity to re-engage back into the educational system and complete their education, learn real-world job skills, and prepare for the world of work.”