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Outgoing Indiana Ed Chief Applies To Be Next Fla. Commissioner

Indiana’s outgoing education chief has submitted his name to become Florida’s next education commissioner.

Tony Bennett was one of 10 candidates who met the Friday deadline to apply for Florida Education Commissioner. Bennett’s name had been mentioned in the last education commissioner search but at the time he was still the head of Indiana’s education system andsaid “no thanks” to the job.  

Bennett, a Republican, is a supporter of teacher merit pay, limits on collective bargaining, school vouchers, and charter schools, many of the programs that Florida pioneered. During his four years in Indiana, he implemented similar programs, which may have cost him his re-election bid.

Bennett is also part of former Governor Jeb Bush’s “Chiefs for Change,” a group of state education officials who support Bush’s education ideas.

Not on the list of applicants is Florida’s interim education commissioner Pam Stewart. She had been praised by Governor Rick Scott and teachers from around the state, but chose not to apply for the permanent position.

For more news updates, follow Lynn Hatter on Twitter@HatterLynn