Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas School Board member Glenton Gilzean takes job with voucher organization

Pinellas County School Board member Glenton Gilzean has taken a job with a nonprofit organization that provides low-income students with state vouchers to help pay private school tuition.

Gilzean, 30, will start Monday with Step Up for Students. As executive director of advocacy and outreach, he will lobby educators, community leaders and elected officials about the state's tax-credit scholarships.

Gilzean said he doesn't view the new job as a conflict of interest.

Doug Tuthill, president of the Jacksonville-based organization, called Gilzean a "great young talent" and said Gilzean will primarily press the organization's interests with state legislators — who can directly affect the program — not school districts.

"I don't ever see him lobbying the School Board or any other school board," Tuthill said.

In an email to board members, Gilzean said he viewed the job as a "perfect complement to our shared vision of 100 percent student success."

School Board attorney David Koperski said he couldn't speak specifically to the issue until he knew more about the job. He said he planned to talk to Gilzean today. He said it's not uncommon for a board member to have an outside job, but there "could be a situation where the conflict is so great that (a board member) couldn't do both."

Gilzean said his new job will allow him flexibility to attend School Board meetings and events. He will be able to work in Step Up's Tampa office as well as in St. Petersburg.

Vouchers often are unpopular with teachers unions and public educators because they view vouchers as taking money from public schools.

Gilzean said he hopes the new job "would spark a good conversation about how we can all work together."

The state's tax-credit scholarships are paid for with diverted tax money, rather than directly from the state's coffers. Corporations, for instance, can direct a portion of their owed taxes to the scholarship program rather than the state. More than 50,000 students were approved for scholarships this year.

About 1,700 students used them in Pinellas County this year, Gilzean said.

He was appointed to the School Board by Gov. Rick Scott in January to fill the position left open after School Board member Lew Williams died.

Gilzean faces a tough re-election fight against Rene Flowers, a former St. Petersburg City Council member, for his District 7 seat. The runoff vote is Nov. 6. Flowers received nearly 48 percent of the vote in the primary election. Gilzean got nearly 16 percent.

Pinellas School Board member Glenton Gilzean takes job with voucher organization 10/15/12 [Last modified: Monday, October 15, 2012 11:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Half of Florida lawmakers fail or nearly fail review of support for public records

    State Roundup

    WEST PALM BEACH — Half of Florida's legislators failed or nearly failed in a review of their support for public records and meetings given by Florida newspapers and an open-government group after this year's legislative sessions.

    State Senator Bill Galvano, R- Bradenton (left) and Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran ranked on opposite sides of the spectrum in an analysis of support for open records. Galvano scored a B-minus and Corcoran scored a D-plus.
[Times file photo]
  2. Yale dean on leave over offensive Yelp reviews leaves post

    Bizarre News

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Yale University dean who was placed on leave over offensive reviews she posted on Yelp has left her position at the Ivy League institution, school officials said Tuesday.

  3. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park


    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  4. The people you meet along O.J. Howard Lane


    OJ Howard (far right) is seen in a photo from his adolescent years at Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church in Prattville, Ala., on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. Howard served as an usher in addition to attending regular services at this church.