As the legislative session neared an end this month, state Rep. Erik Fresen found himself in an awkward position.
Just last year, Fresen helped keep a torrent of public money flowing to private tutoring firms. But after revelations of fraud and lax oversight turned the program into a black eye for education reform, his new orders from House leadership were clear: End subsidized tutoring, and do it now.
Sen. Anitere Flores was ready to push back.
A friendly face from the upper chamber, Flores had much in common with Fresen. Both are Republicans from Miami. And both had backed subsidized tutoring without disclosing ties to the industry.
At stake: $100 million in federal education money — cash that could, depending on how things played out, remain committed to private tutoring or be freed up for districts to spend as they liked.
As the session entered its final week, it was far from certain where the money would go.