New Fla. Education Commissioner to be Picked

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- The Florida State Board of Education is ready to pick a permanent successor to Education Commissioner Tony Bennett.

The board meets Tuesday. The appointed panel is expected to hire interim commissioner Pam Stewart for the job instead of launching a national search.

Stewart, 60, has already held the interim commissioner post twice now in the last year. She started her career as a Hillsborough County teacher.

Florida's education system has had a tumultuous summer dealing with both the resignation of Bennett and continued controversy over its A-to-F grading system and the transition to new standards.

Board members say they are ready to select Stewart. She also has the backing of Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

Stewart will become the fourth commissioner to serve under Scott since he took office in 2011.

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