StudentsFirst expanding in Florida
The education reform group founded by former Washington D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee is "ramping up" its operations in Florida.
On Wednesday, StudentsFirst announced that former Rick Scott spokesperson Lane Wright had been named Florida press secretary.
“Florida is so important, diverse and politically complex when it comes to education,” StudentsFirst State Director Nikki Lowrey wrote in a press release. “We have built a team that will help get our message out and help people understand how elevating teachers, empowering parents, and spending our tax dollars wisely will improve our children’s education.”
StudentsFirst supports school choice, accountability and merit pay for teachers.
The group has been active in Tallahassee for the past two legislative sessions. It has been a leading advocate of "parent-trigger" legislation, which would allow parents to demand significant changes at low-performing public schools. (Rhee herself came to the Florida Capitol to promote the bill earlier this year.)
StudentsFirst also participated in a number of town hall meetings recently held in Florida.
The other members of the Florida team include Lowrey and Outreach Director Troy Bell. Kelly Garcia and Jamona Hayling will oversee field operations in Central and South Florida, respectively, according to the press release.