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Bush Takes On Unions At Tallahassee Summit

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Former Governor Jeb Bush returned to Tallahassee Tuesday, rekindling his rock-star status with Florida’s conservative Republican faithful. The likely presidential candidate highlighted his legacy as an education reformer.

Addressing a conservative education summit at Florida State University’s alumni center, Bush didn’t wait long to serve up the red meat his party base craves. He says education needs a top to bottom shakeup to protect the needs of parents and students.

 “And not so much to protect government run, unionized, politicized monopolies.”

Bush sounded every bit the wonk, diving deep into the weeds of education policy. He lashed out at teacher unions who are still in court challenging his 13-year-old, voucher-based education reforms.

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli helped Bush walk a fine line over school accountability, and the backlash against excessive standardized tests.

“I think we all recognize there are legitimate complaints from our principles, teachers, parents and students all around our state over the issue of testing.”

During a press conference, Bush denied being an official presidential candidate, but he jumped on a question about foreign policy.  That was before heading to a $1,000 a plate fundraiser.

A Miami native, former WFSU reporter Jim Ash is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.