Education Funding

Jeb Bush Returns to the Foundation for Excellence in Education

By Daarel Burnette II — May 24, 2016 1 min read
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This blog post was written by Andrew Ujifusa and originally posted on the Politics K-12 blog.

Have you been wondering what former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush might do after he got out of the 2016 Republican presidential primary? Wonder no more—he’s going back to his roots.

On Tuesday, the Foundation for Excellence in Education announced in an email that Bush, who dropped out of the presidential race last February after a poor showing in the early state races, is returning to the foundation as its chairman. He’s taking over for former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who you might recall took over for Bush early in 2015.

At the start of that year, Bush announced he was seriously exploring a presidential bid and was therefore ending his leadership of the foundation. Despite his background in education, Bush (as well as other candidates) didn’t raise K-12 education much during the campaign.

Rice will stick around as a member of the foundation’s board of directors.

“Too many children right now are failed by a deeply flawed bureaucratic system, but I’m optimistic about the future because I’ve seen the great results produced by states across the country,” Bush said in a statement released by the foundation. “It is an honor to rejoin ExcelinEd as we continue to support states in bringing choice, innovation and accountability to the classroom. I am thankful to Dr. Rice and this exceptional board for their leadership over the past year.”

The foundation, which Bush started in 2008 after serving two terms as Florida’s governor, tries to build state-level support for expanded school choice programs, accountability systems that rely heavily on student performance on test scores, and early literacy initiatives. The foundation also had an affiliate, Chiefs for Change, a group of state superintendents who also pushed for these policies and other, although that group has since ended its affiliation with the foundation and made other changes. The foundation’s also been criticized for its influence on state chiefs and its links to private K-12 companies.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.