Outgoing Sen. John Legg to accept FSBA award he rejected in 2014
Two years ago, state Sen. John Legg rejected the Florida School Board Association's Legislator of the Year award, calling the organization "hostile" to school choice.
On Thursday morning, the FSBA plans to again honor the retiring chairman of the Senate Education Committee for his key role on public education issues.
This time, Legg plans to accept.
"It was very kind of them to offer it again," said Legg, a Pasco County Republican who over the years wrote much of the state's most consequential education legislation. "I'm very honored, very grateful."
He turned down the recognition in 2014 as the school boards association joined a lawsuit challenging the state's tax credit scholarship program. He said the group was seeking to limit the "customization in education" that children and families deserve.
The FSBA later dropped out of the lawsuit. Even so, lawmakers pushed legislation -- later watered down -- targeting the FSBA and its use of taxpayer funds because of its stance.
Legg argued that the lawsuit was a "black eye" to the FSBA, which he said has much more important issues to address. "Since they dropped that lawsuit, they're a great organization."
FSBA government relations director Ruth Melton said the organization held nothing against Legg, and added that he did a good job shepherding complicated education issues through the process.
"We offered it to him (this spring) for the reason we offered it in the first place" -- his "outstanding leadership" for schools and students, Melton said of the award.
The FSBA also will recognize Sen. Jack Latvala and Sen. Bill Montford at its annual summer conference in Tampa.