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Lawmaker championing charter school bill has ties to industry

House leaders picked state Rep. Manny Diaz, Jr., of Hialeah, to shepherd a controversial bill that would revamp the way hundreds of charter schools statewide enter into agreements with local school boards.

Yet, in the eyes of some observers, Diaz has a clear conflict of interest: He has direct ties to the charter school industry.

The Republican lawmaker has been named dean of Doral College, a newly minted private university run by the state’s largest for-profit charter school management firm.

Diaz said he was tapped to manage the charter school bill because he understands both sides of the issue. He previously worked for the Miami-Dade school district for 20 years. He is vice-chair of the K-12 Subcommittee, which is part of the House Education Committee.

“I was asked to run [the bill] in a fair and balanced manner and that’s what I’m going to do,” he said.

But Jeff Wright, who oversees public policy advocacy for the Florida Education Association, said having Diaz oversee the proposal is another example of the Legislature favoring charter schools.

“They aren’t even trying to be subtle anymore,” Wright said. “Lawmakers have abandoned any obligation to [traditional] public schools.”

Read more here.

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MarvinM

"The Republican lawmaker has been named dean of Doral College, a newly minted private university run by the state’s largest for-profit charter school management firm."

So, there are for-profit charter school 'management firms'? I though each school ran itself, was more or less independent.

Ya learn something new everyday ..,

Bill Thompson

Clear conflict of interest. Typical politician for hire so common in Tallahassee today. Sad.

PD

Every elected official, including Jeb Bush, who advocates for these schools have investments waiting to triple.

We deserve better

Manny Diaz is puppet controlled by people who are trying to destroy public education. He was an Assistant Principal for years and never got promoted, then he letft the district to work in SES tuturing and came back as AP, what depth of experience is this clown Bileca talking? We need people in Tallahassee who represen the people not the special interests they work for.

Arturo Reyes

The guy works for a private college and every legislator has a job
They are a citizen legislature, including several teachers who vote and run bills
For the unions, and the executive director of the school boards
Association who's salary is paid by tax payer money in the senate.
This is another witch hunt by the Herald and the teachers union. We do deserve better
We deserve better than the unions protecting bad teachers.
Charter schools serve poor kids and they outperform traditional schools
Maybe that's what we deserve, better schools!

Bill Thompson

The guy is a shill for the charter school industry. Not every charter school is a better school and not every public school is a bad school.

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