During the 44 years that he worked in adult and continuing education in Florida, Jim Fling was primarily concerned with public education. While working as State Director, he made a lasting contribution by designing a program that set a national precedent by funding Professors of Adult Education in universities across the state.
From 1946 until 1975, he served as an Area Supervisor and State Director of Adult Education in Florida. During the early years, he helped plan and implement Florida's Minimum Foundation program that funded Adult Education on the same level as K-12 programs. He also worked extensively on certifying schools and programs to teach WWII and Korean War veterans. In 1964 when the Economic Opportunity Act passed, as a new State Director of Adult Education, he was challenged with assisting each county in Florida with developing a plan for teaching Adult Basic Education, planning a method to finance each program equitably, staffing a new state program, and continuing the ongoing programs for veterans and secondary schools.
Subsequently, he developed a plan and organizational structure for an Adult and Continuing Education Program to unify and coordinate adult education activities at all 28 community colleges in Florida.
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