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Indiana ed chief says "thanks, but no thanks" to Florida job

By Lynn Hatter

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-972157.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – Florida is still looking for a new education head to replace outgoing Commissioner Eric Smith. A report surfaced in the Miami Herald suggesting Indiana's education chief Tony Bennett for the job, but as Lynn Hatter reports, a spokeswoman from his office says he's not leaving anytime soon.

Lauren Auld is a press secretary for the Indiana Department of Education and its head, Dr. Tony Bennett.

"Obviously Dr. Bennett feels honored to be considered for such a prestigious position, however Dr. Bennett feels there's still work to be done in Indiana and he's committed to the students and educators here in the state."

The search for a replacement for Florida's own Eric Smith has been a difficult one. The state board of education extended the deadline to apply for the job after indicating that the 19 candidates who submitted applications aren't what they're looking for. Bennett is a supporter of teacher merit pay, limits on collective bargaining, school vouchers, and charter schools. Many of the programs that Florida pioneered.