School Choice & Charters

Fla. Republican on Charlie Crist’s Ed Reform Record: ‘the Biggest 180'

By Arianna Prothero — September 29, 2014 1 min read
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Education is a big topic in the Florida governor’s race between Republican incumbent Rick Scott and former Republican governor now Democratic nominee Charlie Crist.

According to a recent poll, education is the second-most important policy topic among Florida residents. My colleague Andrew Ujifusa is in the Sunshine state this week, and he caught up over the weekend with state Rep. Erik Fresen, a Miami Republican and chairman of the House K-12 appropriations subcommittee. They talked about education spending and Fresen’s vision for overhauling how those dollars get to students. But of interest to Charters & Choice readers, here’s what Andrew wrote about Fresen’s take on Crist’s education reform record:

As for Crist? Fresen scorns him as beholden to the Florida Education Association's mission to reverse recent changes such as how teacher contracts work. He noted that during his first term, Crist signed legislation expanding the state's tax-credit scholarship program, but is now refusing to criticize the FEA's suit against a new law that broadens the income-based eligibility for the program—the FEA has endorsed Crist for governor. Fresen called Crist's new political position 'pathetic.' 'He has done the biggest 180 you could ever do,' Fresen told me."

Late last week Andrew stopped by a campaign field office in Kissimmee to speak with Crist supporters who had plenty to say about education reform initiatives under Scott. To stay up-to-date on the Florida governor’s race, check out Andrew’s State EdWatch blog.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Charters & Choice blog.