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Advocates of elected Education Commissioner launch website to “bug” lawmakers

A group pushing to get the Commissioner of Education post to back on Florida ballots unleashed a web page Monday that’ll help voters bug every lawmaker in the state.

Fund Education Now created the page so Floridians could urge their representative to vote for HB 767, sponsored by Vero Beach Republican Rep. Debbie Mayfield, which would put an initiative to bring back an elected education commissioner on the 2016 ballot.

“Florida’s experiment with an appointed Commissioner of Education has robbed us of our right to a citizen voice in education policy,” the form letter reads. “In recent years, we’ve watched as a revolving door of five different commissioners presided over one A-F Accountability/high stakes testing blunder after another. Appointed Commissioners do not work for us.”

All 160 legislators in the Florida House and Senate are preselected when users visit the site, and the only requirement to hit “send” on the fully editable letter is a name, email and phone number.

The Senate version of the bill, SB 942 offered up by Hialeah Republican Sen. Rene Garcia, cleared its first of three committee stops last week, but Mayfield’s version has not yet been taken up by the House K-12 Subcommittee.

“Tell legislators that voters deserve to choose Florida’s highest ranking education official,” the email reads. “Urge passage of HJR 767/SJR 942! Voters should make the choice about an elected Commissioner of Education.”

Written By

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

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