Putting Education Reform To The Test

State Board of Education Member Resigns Amid Business Troubles

Florida Department of Education

Akshay Desai resigned from the State Board of Education to focus on his struggling health care company.

Gov. Rick Scott filled three slots on the State Board of Education Thursday, reappointing John Padget of Key West and appointing Ada Armas of Coral Gables and John Colon of University Park.

Colon, an executive with Wells Fargo Advisers, replaces Akshay “A.K.” Desai, who resigned from the board. Desai is a major Republican Party fundraiser, but as our friends at Health News Florida report, state regulators say his company, Universal Health Care, overstated assets and submitted “misleading financial statements.”

Desai told the Tampa Bay Times’ Gradebook blog that “he needed to devote 100 percent of his time to ‘current business challenges.'”

Colon’s term ends next year, while Armas and Padget would serve through 2016 with state Senate confirmation.

The newcomers mean Gov. Rick Scott has now appointed a majority of the seven-member board, which also includes Education Commissioner Tony Bennett.


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