Jeb Bush tutors Minn. lawmakers in Florida education reforms

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was at the Minnesota Capitol on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 to talk about education reform and efforts he led in Florida.
MPR Photo/Tim Nelson

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was at the Minnesota Capitol Tuesday talking education reform.

Bush talked about efforts he led in Florida beginning in the late '90s to improve K through 12 public education. Bush promoted giving schools grades A through F and making school vouchers available to students in failing schools.

Bush also promoted Florida's practice of not allowing illiterate 3rd graders to move on to 4th grade. As he talked about his experience in Florida, Bush urged Minnesota lawmakers to put a priority on education funding with a focus on reform.

"This is a good investment I think over the long haul," Bush said. "To have a literacy-based early childhood program gets everybody's interests aligned the right way. There is no reason why children should be in third grade that are functionally illiterate."

Some Democrats were among those listening to Bush's presentation. Later, Democrats held a news conference to criticize Republicans for pointing to Florida as a model when Minnesota has a higher graduation rate than Florida.

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