President Ford Comments on Proposal to Elect Florida's Commissioner of Education.....
August 2, 2013 Contact: Mark Pudlow 850.201.3223 or 850.508.9756
FEA President Andy Ford backs the idea of returning to an elected education commissioner
TALLAHASSEE – Florida Education Association President Andy Ford remarks on the proposal by some Democrats in the Legislature to return to letting the voters elect the state education commissioner:
“FEA has long believed that the commissioner of education, a position that has such an incredible impact on our state’s future, should be chosen by the voters. This position has influence not only over our children’s education, but also whether or not businesses locate here, our property taxes, the value of our homes and numerous aspects that impact all Floridians. The constant churning over of this office has whipsawed our children’s educational future.
“For more than a decade the office has been relegated to a political appointment, and as we have just seen, is subject to the latest political whims. The appointed commissioner is not accountable to parents, not accountable to students, not accountable to educators and not accountable to taxpayers. Whoever lands in that office is only accountable to an appointed board, whose members are appointed not because of their education credentials, but because of his or her political connections.
“We hope to see bipartisan support for a proposal to give voters back the right to choose the person who holds one of the most influential offices in the state.”
The Florida Education Association is the state’s largest association of professional employees, with more than 140,000 members. FEA represents pre K-12 teachers, higher education faculty, educational support professionals, students at our colleges and universities preparing to become teachers and retired education employees.