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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Spokesman: Gov. Rick Scott 'hasn't picked a side' in issue of making USF Polytechnic independent

21

September

After J.D. Alexander met with Gov. Rick Scott in late August to promote his pet project -- taking USF Polytechnic from the USF system and making it independent -- the senator described the governor as "pretty supportive" of the idea.

But Lane Wright, a Scott spokesman, said Wednesday that the governor is of two minds on the issue.

"The governor hasn't picked a side here," Wright said. "He believes it's something that needs to be carefully considered."

Wright went on to say Scott "likes the idea of a school that teaches math, science and technology-centered skills because there's an increasing demand for those in the job market. On the other hand, there's the issue of how it's going to get paid for and that's something he's looking at closely."

And what would be the problem with maintaining the science, math, tech "polytech" under the USF banner?

"That's a good question," Wright said.

Alexander's proposal is now being considered by the state board of governors, which may vote on the issue at its November meeting.

Though it's a hot topic in Polk County, the idea of creating "Polk Polytech" is not generating a flood of calls to the governor. Wright said Scott's office has received two phone calls and one e-mail on the topic, all from people who oppose the fast-moving proposal.

-- Kris Hundley, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 12:19pm]

    

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