By: Leslie Postal
January 23, 2015
Former Gov. Jeb Bush, considering a run for president in 2016, looks to be returning to his political roots — and a place of political influence — by helping to host an education conference next month in Tallahassee. The conference is to focus on education policies he pushed while in the Governor’s mansion.
Gov. Rick Scott, Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner and Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli will take part, too, one of Bush’s education foundations announced today. That suggests that conference aims to impact legislation that will be debated in the upcoming session of the Florida Legislature.
Bush’s Foundation for Florida’s Future has been an influential force in Florida education and politics for years, pushing for laws and policies that align with its school agenda. But the former governor isn’t usually an in-person advocate.
The event will convene “top Florida policymakers and education stakeholders for a conversation about accountability and choice, two of the most important factors for unlocking student potential,” the Foundation for Florida’s Future said.
It is scheduled for Feb. 10 from 2 to 5 p.m., at The Alumni Center in Tallahassee.
As governor, Bush pushed for Florida’s school accountability system, a first-in-the-nation effort to grade campuses A to F based largely on student test scores, and for more options for students outside traditional public schools, including school voucher programs.
The conference will focus on “impressive gains in student achievement” during the past 15 years and on how to “keep the promise we make to students.”
The event, organizers say, “will conclude with a myth-busting discussion on one of the most talked-about and misunderstood topics today: educational choice.”