Former Jeb Bush staffer Sally Bradshaw has been appointed to the state Board of Education, according to a press release sent out by Gov. Rick Scott this morning. The move is the latest in a series of cues Scott has taken from former Gov. Bush, for whom Bradshaw worked for a number of years.
Bradshaw served as chief of staff to former Bush from 1999 to 2001 and acted as senior campaign advisor to the governor’s 2002 reelection campaign. She also managed Bush’s gubernatorial bid in both the 1998 and 1994 election cycles, and worked for President H. W. Bush during the late 1980s.
In an email to then-newly minted Gov. Scott, his predecessor, Bush advised him on matters of education, writing that he recommended selling the Florida Virtual School and pushing ahead with universal private school vouchers.
Bush also had some advice for higher ed initiatives. “Eliminate funding for Institutes at Universities,” wrote Bush. “My guess is that there are over 150 million in recurring revenue for hundreds of Institutes that have no accountability and are not part of the direct mission of higher ed. Phase them out in your budget and make them justify their existence by securing private funding to exist.”
In recent months, Scott has made clear his intention to make some changes at the university level — and has remarked that he plans to use Texas as a template for some of his changes. As recently reported by The Florida Independent, those changes (which include doing away with certain research programs) have encountered tough criticism in the Lone Star State.