All the rights, half the cost
The St. John's school district has found a novel way to deal with the pending full implementation of Florida's 2002 class-size reduction amendment.
It has approved the creation of associate teacher positions to help reduce student-teacher ratios at a lower expense than full teachers would cost.
Associate teachers would have all the rights and protections of a full instructor, and be required to have a teaching certificate in Florida. They would not lead classes, and their pay would be a lean $26,000 per year.
"We are approaching this with guarded optimism," Debby Etheredge, president of the St. Johns Education Association, told the Ponte Vedra Recorder. "We will look at it at the end of next year to see if it’s working. We don’t want the district using this as a way not to hire teachers."