Allyce Heflin is taking her talents back to the public sector.
Heflin, who most recently served as a partner at Southern Strategy Group, is joining the Office of Early Learning as its budget director. Her first day is Sept. 16.
“Allyce came into our firm at a crucial time for our education practice and did an excellent job at jumping in and filling the role left vacant by the passing of Stacey Webb,” said Rachel Cone, the Tallahassee managing partner at Southern Strategy Group.
“She ably guided clients through the education budget process, and quickly became a valued member of the Southern family,” Cone added. “We will forever be in her debt and wish her all the best as she returns to her true passion in the education budget space.”
The job at the Office of Early Learning is a homecoming of sorts for Heflin, who started her career in the Budget Office of the Florida Department of Education. She was with the Florida Department of Education for a couple of years, before becoming a legislative analyst for the Florida House of Representatives.
Her budget prowess proved her well over the years. She quickly became budget chief for the House Education Appropriations Subcommittee, specializing in K-12 education funding. During her tenure as budget chief, she was responsible for the calculations for the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP), the primary funding formula for K-12 public schools.
Heflin said she loved her time at Southern Strategy Group, but is excited for the opportunity to go back to the public sector.
“Ultimately, my heart is in public service,” she said. “I think it’s about having an impact. I want my work to be meaningful. I want to provide that oversight and fiscal control to the state. The way to do that is to be on the inside and make sure that the principle of fiscal conservatism is applied.”
At the Office of Early Learning, Heflin will oversee a $1.2 billion budget. Her position includes focusing on budget requests, operational budgets and allocation formulas, and ensuring proper oversight at agency.
As a contract lobbyist, Heflin said she’s already gotten the feel for making an ask of legislators. That experience, Heflin said, has helped prepare her for her new position at the Office of Early Learning, where she’ll be “making the ask on behalf of the students the agency serves.”
Heflin said her goal is to make sure the needs of local populations are being met through appropriations and that quality services are being provided.
“It’s a big job and it’s pretty important to the state of Florida that children’s education services are delivered the best way,” she said.