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2007 Urban Innovator Award

Tuesday November 2007


Jeb Bush Former Governor, State of Florida

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has been described by Governing magazine as one who “not only embraced big ideas but he proved to be a tireless manager and implementer of his own policy visions.” Many of his ambitious reforms—including disaster preparedness, tax cuts, economic diversification, and education reform—improved the quality of life in the state’s urban communities. In particular, the education policies initiated by Governor Bush—including the first voucher program for students in special education and a statewide testing system that eliminated social promotion—transformed the state’s public school system, a change, wrote the Orlando Sentinel . . . whose “biggest beneficiaries have been low-income, minority kids.”

Florida cities today lead the nation both in job growth and in improving the educational attainment of the disadvantaged.