Mr. Jeb's honor roll
State Rep. Rick Kriseman, D-St. Petersburg, got a C this morning. But given the source, it’s probably not the worst C he ever got.
The middling grade was handed out by Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Florida’s Future, which unveiled its first-ever report card for lawmakers. “I’m fine with that,” Kriseman, a steady critic of Bush’s education policy, told The Gradebook about his grade. “I’m not going to be obstructionist and disagree with something just because it’s (supported by) Jeb.”
The grades were largely based on how lawmakers voted last spring on a select group of education bills (the foundation keyed in on 14 in House and 17 in the Senate). Kriseman got points for supporting bills that strengthened academic standards, improved workforce education and revamped the state’s grading formula or high schools. He didn’t get points for voting against expansion of corporate tax credit vouchers and for elimination of school recognition money. "I'm proud of my votes," he said. "I don't care about grades. I care about issues."
Overall, 82 of 120 state representatives got A’s while only 14 of 40 senators did. In both chambers, Democrats must have been sitting in the back row and firing spitballs, because only nine of them got A’s (and most if not all of them voted for the voucher expansion). Among them: state Reps. Bill Heller, D-St. Petersburg, Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg and Janet Long, D-Seminole.
The foundation matrix did not include positions on overall education spending, which was cut this year for the first time in decades despite Democratic protest.