BUSINESS GROUP BACKS APPOINTED ED COMMISSIONER
By the News Service of Florida
Siding with Gov. Rick Scott, the influential Florida Council of 100 said Friday it supports keeping an appointed education commissioner and an appointed state board of education. The Senate Education Pre-K-12 Committee is scheduled Jan. 9 to hear a proposal by Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, to make the education commissioner an elected member of the state Cabinet. Also, the proposal would lead to the governor and Cabinet serving as the board of education. The proposal (SJR 96) would reverse changes, approved in a 1998 constitutional amendment, that gave power to the governor to appoint the board of education. Steve Halverson, chairman of the Council of 100, a group of business leaders that has long advised governors and policymakers, issued a statement Friday saying Florida "has made tremendous strides in educational performance'' since moving to an appointed commissioner and state board. "It has enabled our state's appointed officials and experts to do what they do best – develop and implement education policies and programs that have helped make Florida’s students more competitive nationally and internationally,'' Halverson said. Scott also told the Florida Current this week that he opposes the proposed changes.