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Scott's Last-Minute Appointments Include Parkland Shooting Victim's Father For Education Role

Associated Press
Andrew Pollack, father of 18 year-old school shooting victim Meadow Pollack, stands to applause in the Florida House gallery after the school safety bill passed the House 67-50 at the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee on March 7, 2018.

The father of a Parkland shooting victim who has been a high-profile conservative advocate for school safety has been tapped for the board that governs all K-12 schools and community colleges in Florida.

Outgoing Republican Gov. Rick Scott announced his pick of Andrew Pollack — whose daughter, Meadow, died at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last February — for a seat on the state Board of Education. Pollack campaigned for Scott during his successful bid for U.S. Senate.

Following the appointment, Pollack tweeted his priorities on the board would be as follows: "accountability for School Boards and Superintendents, increased teacher pay and enacting and enforcing school safety initiatives."

Pollack has been a harsh critic of Broward County schools superintendent Robert Runcie.

The appointment was one of nearly 80 choices Scott announced on his way out of office, filling seats on boards overseeing everything from universities to the citrus industry to the medical field in Florida. Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis doesn't have to accept the last-minute selections; he could cancel them before they are confirmed by the state Senate.

Scott also appointed outgoing education commissioner Pam Stewart to the state panel investigating the Parkland shooting.

Stewart currently serves on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, since there's a seat reserved for the state education chief. But that spot will soon go to her replacement, former House speaker and conservative Republican Richard Corcoran.

The panel just released its first report to lawmakers on how to prevent future school shootings, and it will continue making recommendations until 2023.

Jessica Bakeman is Director of Enterprise Journalism at WLRN News, and she is the former senior news editor and education reporter. Her 2021 project "Class of COVID-19" won a national Edward R. Murrow Award.
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