Today's news -- July 11, 2013




Teachers didn’t know they’d be in Scott ad

Several Florida Teacher of the Year candidates didn’t realize the video interviews they gave during a reception at the Governor’s Mansion would be used in a political advertisement for Gov. Rick Scott, and one called it inappropriate. Scott’s office disclaimed responsibility for making the ad, which was posted on YouTube by the state Republican Party. Representatives from Scott’s office and the state Department of Education said the party used video distributed by the Governor’s Office as a news release, but without any coordination with the Governor’s Office. In the ad, five winners of district-level teacher of the year competitions are seen praising Scott, or appearing to, during interviews recorded at the Governor’s Mansion. A couple of the teachers said they were asked about teacher pay raises pushed by Scott. Apryl Shackelford, a middle school teacher from Duval County, wasn’t pleased when she learned from a reporter she was featured in video urging Scott’s re-election. “I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to be in any political ad, Democrat or Republican” as a statewide teacher of the year finalist, she said. “It’s inappropriate for me to speak for 8,000 teachers” in Duval County. “I can’t say what party they should choose.”

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