Florida Gov.-elect Rick Scott embraces choice

Gov.-elect Rick Scott got some national attention last week while speaking at an event celebrating the companies that so far this year have contributed $126 million to the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship for low-income students. Scott, former CEO of the Columbia/HCA healthcare organization, ran a campaign pledging to bring jobs to Florida and his education platform included a strong embrace of parental choice. The scholarship donor rally was the Governor-elect’s first education-related even since he took office, and he took the opportunity to voice support for private learning options.

In turn, the state’s largest newspaper, the St. Petersburg Times, reported on a plan for “education savings accounts” that could bring those options to far more families. Is that Scott’s plan? Here’s what he said to an audience of nearly 1,000 students, parents, teachers and corporate donors.

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BY Jon East

Jon East is special projects director for Step Up For Students. Previously, he was a member of the editorial board and the Sunday commentary editor at the St. Petersburg Times, Florida’s largest daily newspaper, where he wrote about education issues for most of his 28 years at the paper. He was also a reporter and editor at the Evening Independent and Ocala Star-Banner. He earned a journalism degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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