Attention shifts to wife after Bennett's resignation

Bennett calls for state investigation

INDIANAPOLIS - Only 12 hours after Tony Bennett officially stepped down as Florida’s Education Commissioner, new questions were being raised about his wife's employment.

Tina Bennett is employed by the for-profit company that was hired to take over three Indianapolis schools last year.

RTV6 confirmed that Tina Bennett works for Charter Schools USA.

The Florida-based group was hired while her husband was Indiana’s Education Chief to oversee three IPS schools including Emma Donnan Middle School and Manual and Howe high schools.

A spokesperson for the company said Tina Bennett was hired last June.

She works as a regional director for the group's schools in Louisiana-- not Indiana or Florida.

"We were sensitive to potential perceptions and carefully considered this during the hiring process which is why Tina’s responsibilities are limited to our schools in Louisiana,” a statement from Charter Schools USA said. “Based upon her professional qualifications and achievements, we stand behind our decision to hire Tina."

Tony Bennett called for a state investigation that he believes will show he did nothing wrong while serving as Indiana’s Education Chief.

In the wake of Bennett’s resignation in Florida, Governor Mike Pence contacted the State Department of Education.

“Today we urge the State Department of Education to quickly and thoroughly review the issues that have been raised in the present controversy and to report on the grading system before the State Board of Education when they meet next week,” Pence said.

Pence said he was ready to focus on moving forward.

Follow Drew Smith on Twitter: @drewsmith1

 

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