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Crist names group to focus bid for Race to the Top education fund

When he vetoed Senate Bill 6, Gov. Charlie Crist said he would convene a working group to focus Florida's Race to the Top application and suggest improvements to make it successful in Round 2.

He announced the members of the group Wednesday, and among them are Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association president Kim Black and the teacher of the year for Hillsborough County and Florida, Megan Allen.

Florida was widely considered a leading contender for a share of the $4.35 billion Race to the Top fund, the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's education agenda. But Florida — which asked for more than $1 billion — finished fourth behind Delaware, Tennessee and Georgia in the first round.

Some said Florida lost because it lacked the support of teachers. Others suggested it was because Florida needed legislation like SB 6, which attempted to overhaul teacher pay and contracts.

The other committee members, a mix of SB 6 backers and opponents, are: 

Andy Ford, president, Federal Education Association (FEA).

Alberto Carvalho, superintendent, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Working Group chair.

Karin Brown, president, Florida Parent Teacher Association. 

Mark Wilson, president and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce. 

Debra Dowds, executive director, Florida Developmental Disabilities Council. 

Ronald Blocker, superintendent, Orange County Public Schools. 

W.C. Gentry, Duval County School Board member. 

Candace Lankford, Volusia County School Board member and president of Florida School Boards Association. 

Sen. Rudy Garcia, R-Hialeah.

State Rep. Jimmy Patronis, R-Panama City.

The committee will have its first meeting via conference call at 1 p.m. today.

Crist names group to focus bid for Race to the Top education fund 04/21/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 11:02pm]
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