Jeb Bush's foundation grades Florida lawmakers on education votes
It's time again for Jeb Bush's Foundation for Florida's Future to rate state lawmakers for their votes on education issues near the former governor's heart.
The annual report card offers few surprises. Those senators and representatives getting the top marks backed Bush's reform agenda, which included parent trigger, high school graduation requirement changes and tweaks to the state's teacher evaluation system.
What's notable is how closely the lawmaker grades adhere to political party. A could easily stand for R, and F for D.
In fact, of 44 House Democrats, 39 earned failing grades from the foundation, while the remaining five got D's. Meanwhile, 65 of 76 House Republicans received A's. The 40-member Senate didn't follow party line quite so closely, with three Democrats (Gwen Margolis, Bill Montford and Jeremy Ring) getting B grades and three Republicans (Nancy Detert, Greg Evers and Rene Garcia) being tagged with C's. Pinellas County's Republican Sen. Jack Latvala, who refused to bend on some of Bush's key priorities, got a D.
Who got top marks? Depends on who's judging.
Those making A+ for going above and beyond the Bush agenda were senators Aaron Bean, Jeff Brandes, Anitere Flores, Bill Galvano, Andy Gardiner, John Legg, Joe Negron, Kelli Stargel and John Thrasher, and representatives Michael Bileca, Jason Brodeur, Manny Diaz Jr., Erik Fresen, Seth McKeel, George Moraitis Jr., Ross Spano and Carlos Trujillo. All are Republicans.
Those with the lowest support for the Bush plan were Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, who received 17 of a possible 100 points; Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Miami (20); Rep. Kevin Rader, D-Boca Raton, (25 points); and Elaine Schwartz, D-Hollywood (29 points).