The day ahead in Florida politics — Feb. 24

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The Florida Education Association will hold a news conference Tuesday morning. President Andy Ford and Vice President Joanne McCall will discuss how Florida uses standardized tests to measure student and school performance.

The teachers union has been engaged in a losing battle with the Republican majority that has controlled the state Capitol since then-Gov. Jeb Bush announced plans in 1998 for a school-grading system.

The release announcing the media availability with Ford and McCall referred to the state’s toxic testing system. The FEA has argued that 60 to 80 school days can be devoted to tests. It counts any day when a student takes a test for part of a day as a test day.

Gov. Rick Scott last week said he plans to eliminate some testing.

“I have heard from parents and teachers that there are too many tests, and I agree,” Scott said in a prepared statement.

Scott will sign next month an executive order eliminating a new 11th grade language arts exam.

Scott, meanwhile, continues his Pennsylvania job poaching adventure. A bundled-up WCAU television reporter explained to viewers that Scott actually  “believes Florida is a better place to do business.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s office has stepped up its criticism of Scott. According to Philly Live, Wolf’s office is telling people Scott is a fraud.

Jeb still hasn’t announced he’s running for president but continues to raise money. Tuesday, a Bush fundraiser hosted by, among others, former House Speaker Will Weatherford and Mel Sembler, the former finance co-chair for Mitt Romney’s Florida campaign, will be held at the Grand Hyatt. Tickets range from $1,000 to $25,000.

Marco Rubio is spending another day in New Hampshire. He’ll take part in a Politics and Eggs meeting; the series of discussions with business leaders began in 1996 and attracts major party presidential candidates.

In Tampa, Sen. Arthenia Joyner and state Rep. Janet Cruz will help host a Ready for Hillary PAC fundraiser at the Mise en Place restaurant.

Along the northeast coast, candidates for Senate District 6 and House District 24 will participate in a forum hosted by the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce, Realtors and builders.

Republican Travis Hutson and Democrat David Cox are running for the seat formerly held by John Thrasher. Republican Paul Renner and Democrat Adam Morley are competing for House District 24. The election is April 7.

At the state Capitol, the Elections Commission will begin two days of meetings. On the agenda is an appeal by former Democratic attorney-general candidate Perry Thurston about matching funds.

Also on the agenda for Tuesday is a webinar for the release of a local government pension report by the LeRoy Collins Institute.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.