Florida Senate education leaders announced
Some new faces will oversee the education policy debates in the Florida Senate during the 2017 session, while a familiar hand will run education appropriations in the chamber.
Senate President Joe Negron announced Tuesday that Sen. Dorothy Hukill, a Volusia County Republican, will chair the Education Committee with Sen. Debbie Mayfield, an Indian River County Republican, as vice chair.
Sen. David Simmons, a Seminole County Republican, will lead the education appropriations side, with Sen. Dana Young, a Hillsborough County Republican, as vice chair.
Hukill has not played a high profile role in key education issues in the past. She gained some note for her 2014 bill aiming to ban the collection of student biometric information in schools, and for her push to add financial literacy as a high school credit course. Mayfield, by contrast, offered some controversial bills on hot education topics during her time in the House, including measures to ban the Common Core, allow testing opt out and to return to an elected state education commissioner.
Simmons has run education finances in the past, and been a regular participant in the state's education debate. He is the main proponent of adding an hour of reading instruction to the lowest performing elementary schools, for instance. Young, also newly elected to the Senate, has not been a major player on the subject before, although she has held positions of influence in the state House.
Others assigned to the Education Committee are Sens. Gary Farmer, Bill Galvano, Tom Lee, Simmons, Wilton Simpson, Linda Stewart and Perry Thurston. Others assigned to Education Appropriations are Sens. Doug Broxson, Farmer, Denise Grimsley, Lee, Bill Montford and Darryl Rouson.