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Education post has new GOP candidate

A South Florida school superintendent announced his candidacy for state education commissioner Thursday, calling for change in the system and more choice for parents.

Frank T. Brogan, a Republican from Stuart in Martin County, has emerged as one of the strongest candidates among lesser-known candidates running to be the GOP challenger to Doug Jamerson, who was recently named commissioner.

Brogan's race is boosted by state GOP Party Chairman Tom Slade, who recruited Brogan for the race and introduced him at Thursday's news conference. And Brogan's campaign manager is Sherry Plymale, former vice chairman of the state Republican Party.

"We have tinkered with public education for too long," said Brogan, as he addressed supporters in the Senate chambers of the Old Capitol. "People are demanding fundamental change."

His suggestions include streamlining the state bureaucracy and giving more control to local districts; more choice for parents about which school their children will attend; consideration of a voucher system to allow children to attend private schools; working with other agencies on juvenile justice; and less reliance on longevity and more on skill in determining teachers' pay.