Established in 1979, the Florida Association of Academic Nonpublic Schools (FAANS) is comprised of 22 member associations, 15 of which are recognized “Accrediting Member” associations. FAANS members represent approximately 1,300 Florida nonpublic schools with more than 300,000 students. FAANS represents all of the major faith-based and non- sectarian accrediting agencies as well as non-accrediting organizations operating in Florida, encompassing the vast majority of the nonpublic schools within Florida’s 67 Counties.
While FAANS does NOT accredit individual schools, the Association leads the way in establishing the highest standard and expectations for approved agencies accrediting schools in the state of Florida.
FAANS serves as a vital link between nonpublic schools and the Florida Legislature, Florida Department of Education, as well as other government departments, and nonpublic school support services such as Florida High School Athletic Association and scholarship-funding organization. FAANS is the conduit for information related to nonpublic school education for parents, media, national school organizations, and government agencies in Florida and beyond.
Additionally, FAANS is the Florida Council for American Private Education (CAPE) representative in Washington, D.C.
A major function of FAANS is monitoring local, state, and national legislation impacting nonpublic schools. In state issues, FAANS provides members of the Florida Legislature with information about nonpublic education in Florida as well as nonpublic school viewpoints on current and pending legislation that might affect the private sector.
On many issues FAANS speaks for all of its member organizations. Due to the diversity of the associations within its membership, however, there are occasions when differing philosophies are honored and where a consensus is not attainable. At such times, any member organization may take a public stand that differs from that of other FAANS member organizations.
While there is diversity of opinion and philosophy among the many member organizations of FAANS, in most situations FAANS speaks for the consensus of its member organizations. FAANS is governed by a Board of Directors, comprised of one representative from each member organization, and is lead by an executive committee elected from the Board membership. FAANS meets at stated times each year to conduct its business according to the policies established in its by-laws.
All FAANS organizations must have a racially nondiscriminatory membership policy in compliance with USC 2000d, subscribe to the organization’s Code of Ethics, and be approved by the Board of Directors for membership. Accrediting member organizations are approved on the basis of a careful appraisal of each organization’s accreditation standards and processes, sponsorship by at least two FAANS member organizations, a site visit during one of the organization’s regular accrediting visits to one of its schools, and a majority vote of support by the Board of Directors. Each accrediting association is examined every five years for continued membership as an accrediting member.
FAANS represents the interests of its members with the Florida Legislature, the Florida Governor’s Office and Florida State Agencies. It ensures that Florida’s nonpublic schools are represented in all issues that impact or potentially could impact their welfare and their services to students.
FAANS Legislative Services include:
- Monitor potential bills that may impact its membership.
- Provide information on legislative issues.
- Maintain regular dialogue with the Offices of the Florida House and Senate, the Florida Department of Education, the Department of Children and Families, the Agency for Workforce Innovation and the Florida High School Athletic Association.
- Work closely with the Office for Independent Education and Parental Choice within the Florida Department of Education.
- Provide members for various Legislative appointed committees, committees formed by the various State agencies, and to various committees of the Florida High School Athletic Association.
FAANS is included in Florida State statutes to provide standards for its member organizations to participate in Florida’s Gold Seal Program and the Florida Voluntary Pre-kindergarten Program (VPK). These standards are developed in close affiliation with the National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA).
Each member organization must subscribe to the Code of Ethics, and in so doing it expresses its willingness to be guided by the principles and standards contained in the Code. The Code establishes a framework upon which the FAANS member organizations work with each other in an environment of integrity and trust. Each organization subscribes to the Code of Ethics annually. Because FAANS does not, by intent or policy, oversee the operations of its individual member organizations, compliance by individual members and schools is the responsibility of each organization.
Each FAANS member organization agrees to:
- Accept the statement of mission and the goals and purposes of FAANS as stated in the FAANS Charter.
- Participate, with regularity, in the FAANS meetings and take an active and equitable part in discussions, issues, and responsibilities.
- Have or establish its own standards and code of ethics to which each member school must subscribe.
- Assume an equitable part in supporting and meeting the needs of all nonpublic schools in the state, and willingly help to protect the rights and interests of nonpublic schools from unwarranted, unfair, and/or discriminatory regulations by local, state, or federal agencies.
- Oversee its member schools to insure compliance with state laws in regard to reporting, attendance, health, safety, and sanitation.
- Insure that each member school provides facilities, staff, structure, and programs adequate to fulfill the mission and purpose of that school.
- Assist member schools in maintaining institutional integrity to include advertising, finances, curricular and extracurricular programs, student recruitment and transfers, academic policies and procedures, and the treatment of parent or student complaints.
- Insure that its member schools do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin.
- Assist member schools in providing equitable access to available scholarship funds and in establishing policies that administer such funds by defensible criteria.
- Encourage member schools to maintain standards of good sportsmanship and fair competition and to discourage the recruitment of student athletes.
- Develop, if desired and as needs indicate, a set of evaluative criteria for school accreditation and seek to meet the standards established by FAANS for accrediting associations.
- Keep its constituency apprised of issues and concerns that May affect nonpublic schools, and solicit their voices on issues that are of concern to them.
- Pay dues and assessments in a timely manner.
- Communicate openly and honestly with the FAANS membership on issues that affect nonpublic schools, the FAANS organization, and the schools represented by its Membership.
- Will not use the FAANS name on school letterhead.
FAANS Members meet a minimum of two times per year. Typically, the Fall Meeting takes place in Orlando and the Spring Meeting takes place in Tallahassee. Dates, location and Agendas are e-mailed to all members in advance.
In order to maintain active membership in FAANS, an authorized Representative of all member organizations must attend both meetings each year.
Dr. Barbara Hodges
1211 N. Westshore Blvd., Suite 612
Tampa, FL 33607
Ph: (813) 287-2820
Fax: (813) 286-3025
Mr. David K. Holtzhouse, M.R.E.
Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI)
461 Plaza Drive, Suite C
Dunedin, FL 34698
Ph. (727) 734-7096
Fax: (727) 734-3660
Steve Hicks, President
The Coalition of McKay Scholarship Schools, Inc.
5246 Centerville Rd
Tallahassee, FL 32309
Ph: (850) 893-2216
Fax (850) 893-2440
The Executive Officers of FAANS provide leadership and serve to represent the interests of its members. Officers are responsible for Meeting Minutes, Financial Reports, and communication with representatives from the DOE and FAANS Committee Chairs. A President, Immediate Past-President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer serve as the Executive Officers of FAANS.
Budget and Finance Committee
This committee is chaired by the Treasurer, and its membership is determined by Section 2 of Bylaw III.
The purpose of this committee shall be the following:
- Review and approved the finance and budget reports prepared by the Treasurer prior to the stated meetings of the Directors.
- Review and approve the end of the fiscal year report of the Treasurer for presentation to the Directors at the Fall meeting.
- Accomplish the tasks contained in Bylaw XI (Annual Budget) and Bylaw XII (Dues).
Barbara Hodges, Chairperson
Steven L. Hicks
Membership and Standards Committee
Chaired by the Vice President, the purpose of this committee is to keep accurate information about all member organizations up to date in an annual FAANS Brochure and on the FAANS web site.
Membership of this committee will be according to Bylaw III, Section 3.
- This committee shall work with the FDOE to keep current the brochure, “How to Chose a Non-public School in Florida.”
- This committee shall encourage other nonpublic school organizations in Florida to seek membership in FAANS. The committee will examine all applications for membership in FAANS and will process applications in accordance with Bylaw III, Section 2.
- This committee shall annually review the standards of the Association to ensure compliance with applicable state laws and ensure that the standards are of high professional quality.
- If complaints or charges are made against a member organization, the Committee will make preliminary investigations and make a recommendation to the Directors concerning the matter.
- David K. Holtzhouse Chairperson
- Dr. Teri Logan
- Alicia A. Casanova
Educational Information Committee
Chaired by the Secretary and comprised of four Directors selected by the chair, the purpose of this committee is to enhance the professional knowledge of member associations, schools accredited by or members of such associations, and individuals connected with such associations or schools. This shall be accomplished through regular communications using email, FAANS newsletter, and other effective means available to the committee.
Mark A. Brink, Chairperson (Appointments pending)
Chaired by the Legislative Coordinator, this committee is comprised of at least seven persons, and shall include the current Executive Officers, the representatives of the four largest member organizations (unless they occupy an elected position on the Executive Committee), and all former presidents who desire to attend and who are still in regular attendance at stated meetings as representatives of a member organization. The purpose of this committee is to follow all pertinent pending and present legislation that impacts nonpublic schools in Florida and to recommend to the Directors courses of action and/or positions to take concerning pending or present legislation.
James Herzog, Chairperson
Dr. Howard Burke
Alicia A. Casanova
This committee is chaired by the immediate past Vice-President and is comprised of all former presidents of the Association who currently function as representatives of member organizations. The purpose of this committee is to present, during the final year of the existing officer’s term of office, a list of proposed candidates to serve as the Executive Officers of the Association. The list of proposed candidates shall be presented to the Executive Committee at least two weeks prior to the Annual Meeting of the Association.
Alicia A. Casanova, Chairperson
Dr. Charaline Luna
Mark A. Brink
Meetings and Agenda Committee
This committee will make arrangements for meetings and will assist the FAANS President with the preparation of Agendas for FAANS meetings.