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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Education reform group taps former Scott spokesman



Former Rick Scott spokesperson Lane Wright has a new gig: He's the Florida press secretary for the education reform group StudentsFirst.

The hire is part of an effort to ramp up operations in Florida, StudentsFirst announced Wednesday.

The organization, founded by former Washington D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, supports school choice, accountability and merit pay for teachers.

The Sunshine State team also includes State Director Nikki Lowrey and Outreach Director Troy Bell. Kelly Garcia and Jamona Hayling will oversee field operations in Central and South Florida, respectively.

“Florida is so important, diverse and politically complex when it comes to education,” Lowrey wrote in a press release Wednesday. “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 has been active in Tallahassee for the past two legislative sessions. The organization 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 Tallahassee to promote the bill earlier this year.

StudentsFirst also participated in a number of town hall meetings in Florida this year.

[Last modified: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 10:26am]


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