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New Florida House education leader named

Mount Dora Republican Rep. Jennifer Sullivan is a vocal backer of school choice programs.

In all the post-election hoopla, it was easy to miss Florida House Speaker Jose Oliva's announcement Wednesday of committee structures and leaders for the upcoming legislative session.

The House education committees remain the same, with one overarching panel and three subcommittees — Higher Education, PreK-12 Innovation and PreK-12 Readiness. Oliva will continue to have both higher ed and PreK-12 appropriations subcommittees, as well.

With the departure of Education chairman Michael Bileca, who was term limited, any of several members with strong views on the Republican education agenda could have emerged as the next leader.

Oliva selected Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, a Mount Dora Republican who has championed such issues as home schooling and tax credit scholarships, and has been an ally to conservative education groups and their concerns.

The speaker did not name subcommittee chairs yet. The Senate had not released its leadership plan.

Committees are scheduled to begin their business for the 2019 session in December.