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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Elected education commissioner? Rick Scott doesn't like it



A state senator's bill to return the Florida education commissioner to elected status has gotten the thumbs down from Gov. Rick Scott. 

“I don’t believe it makes any sense at all. It’ll make education: It’ll turn it into politics. We did that before. If you look at it – we’re doing well, graduation rates are up. By taking it out of the political process we’re making good progress,” Scott told The Florida Current.

Of course, Scott significantly influenced the State Board of Education's selection process, shoving former commissioner Eric Smith out the door and then all but hand-picking Gerard Robinson out of Virginia for the board's formal vote. In the hands of the voters, who knows who would have been selected? (Certainly not a non-Floridian.)

Bill sponsor Joe Negron told the Current that he wasn't bothered by Scott's stance: "I look forward to having a good debate on the best way to educate students in Florida."

Florida's last elected education commissioner was Charlie Crist. A fall poll by Lobbytools showed a majority of respondents in favor of electing the position.

[Last modified: Thursday, December 22, 2011 9:18am]


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