Florida Board of Education to appoint interim commissioner Friday
Florida's Board of Education will hold an emergency meeting Friday to appoint an interim education commissioner.
Tony Bennett resigned as education commissioner Thursday, effective immediately. He recommended that the state board tap K-12 chancellor Pam Stewart for an interim appointment, as they did after Bennett's predecessor, Gerard Robinson, resigned abruptly last year. The meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday.
Bennett praised Stewart as a solid choice, someone who has been "intimately involved" in the state's transition to the new Common Core State Standards. Stewart has served as deputy superintendent for Academic Services in St. Johns County, deputy chancellor of educator quality at the state Department of Education, and as a principal. Read more about her here.
Gary Chartrand, board chairman, released a statement Thursday afternoon saying he would recommend Stewart's appointment as interim commissioner at Friday's meeting. Here's his full statement:
“Tony demonstrated great leadership transitioning Florida to new state standards – and he worked tirelessly during his tenure to provide students and teachers with the tools they needed to succeed. I thank him for his hard work and the support that he and Governor Scott have provided to educators and students across the state. In order to continue the success that Tony facilitated, it is my intention to convene a State Board of Education call tomorrow to recommend that the board appoint our K-12 Chancellor Pam Stewart as Interim Commissioner.”
A DOE spokeswoman said typically the meeting would be noticed 10 days in advance. But Bennett's resignation constitutes an emergency. The state board doesn't have a regular meeting scheduled until September. It's not clear yet if that will change as the board undertakes yet another commissioner search.