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Miami lawmaker to head new private college

A Miami-Dade charter school company plans to open a small, private university next year –- and has hired a state lawmaker to run the new institution.

Sen. Anitere Flores will be the president of Doral College, which will be affiliated with Doral Academy, a charter school.

If approved by the state Commission for Independent Education next month, Flores said, Doral College expects to open in January as a four-year university granting degrees in biology, chemistry, English and history. The college has asked to enroll up to 100 students.

"It's a brand-new concept," Flores said of having a charter school affiliated with a higher education institution.

The college, at least at first, will likely largely attract students from Doral Academy, the charter school.

Flores sits on the Florida Senate's K-12 education budget subcommittee that, among other things, sets statewide funding for charter schools.

But Flores, a Miami Republican, said it should not be a conflict for her to serve on the Legislature while also being the university's president.

"I don't think so," she said, because she is not on any higher education committees.

To accept her new post, Flores, a lawyer, quit her job as director of community relations for Florida International University.

Doral College will be a separate entity from Doral Academy, Flores said, though the university will likely be set up next to the high school. Both entities will share the same board of trustees for the nonprofit that currently oversees the school, she said.

Doral College hopes to appear before the state on Sept. 21, though a Florida education department spokeswoman said the college was not yet on the commission's agenda. The agenda is in flux until the end of the month.

Doral Academy is managed by Academica, a for-profit company that manages dozens of charter schools.

Academica has ties to another Miami Republican lawmaker: The company is run by Rep. Erik Fresen's brother-in-law, Fernando Zulueta, and employs Fresen's sister, Maggie.

Comments

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Johnny Hothead

So, does this mean Fresen follows Flores into the senate seat?

Get a clue

No Johnny. Fresen THINKS he will follow Flores into the state senate. The deal is simple. Fresen gets Florez a six-figure job so that she retires from politics (after all, she needs the money -- second baby on the way and a husband who lives off her salary) and he runs for her redrawn senate seat. What Fresen doesn't know is that Rep. Jeanette Nunez has already locked down all the important commitments, including Florez' endorsement, for the seat. Poor Fresen. Such a fool

Custin's a tool

You've got it all wrong Get a clue, aka David Custin. While I agree this new job signals Flores' exit from politics, Rep. Ana Rivas Logan will wipe the floor with Nunez in this senate seat. She's already represented most of it as a school board member. And then Custin won't be able to set foot in Tallahassee again as long as Sen. Rivas Logan is around. Good riddance to him.

Sleepless in Westchester

Johnny Hothead, aka Nelson Diaz, and Custin's a Tool, aka Rivas Logan, you're both wrong. No one will outwork or outraise Pepe Diaz for Anaterry's senate seat. Can you say Senator Pepe? Get used to it down there.

TellingItLikeItIs

Ultimately, you need some level of brains to succeed in politics, and Fresen is just a tool for his sister and brother-in-law's business. The Peter Principle will be applied to his current position.

Custin

Go Jeanette!!!

We are watching

Ana Rivas Logan could not win that seat if her life depends on it, she is disliked by too many people in that district. I will support anyone but Logan. I am not so sure Anitere is giving up politics, I think she is waiting to see what happens with David Rivera.If David is indicted or looks like he can't win his election I think Flores runs for that seat.

JaneMiami

Dear Anitere,

I don't know what planet you come from, but this is a huge conflict.

js pereyre

I really am impressed that someone of Aniterre caliber is willing to take on such a job. She wants to educate our kids and help pass laws to help us. I say say Run For Congress you have my vote.

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