Outgoing State Superintendent Tony Bennett will interview Tuesday for Florida’s top schools job. He’s one of three finalists from a pool of more than 60. You can read brief bios of all three candidates over at StateImpact Florida.
Bennett decided to put his name in consideration after losing the election to Washington Township teacher Glenda Ritz last month. He told StateImpact he had to weigh his desire to stay in Indiana with the opportunity to continue working with kids:
As a guy who is a Hoosier through and through, who spent all but one year of his professional life in Indiana, I had to ask myself how important it was to balance that issue between loving the role of state school chief and driving education policy for children of a state versus living in Indiana. And I don’t believe there are any other states in the country better than Florida to do what I love to do. I’m excited about it, but will it will be hard? Of course it’ll be hard. But on January 11, I have to make a pretty quick emotional and intellectual pivot. And that emotional and intellectual pivot is I have to put Indiana in my rear-view mirror if I’m selected. And I have to underscore, ‘if I’m selected’…
I’m thrilled that the opportunity exists, and I hope the opportunity works out. I hope that on [December] 12 that we have the opportunity to serve the state of Florida, and the children of Florida more importantly than anything.
Interviews with Bennett and the other two candidates are slated to start after the regular Florida State Board of Education meeting Tuesday afternoon. You can watch a live stream on The Florida Channel starting at 3 p.m. Bennett’s interview is scheduled for 4:15 p.m., though it could start slightly earlier or later depending on time.