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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Bill to kill teacher tenure draws another foe



S013 The bill to kill teacher tenure has been scheduled for another stop in the Senate – and it might be its last.

The Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee is slated to hear SB 2458 Thursday afternoon. Like the Senate PreK-12 Education Committee, where the Jeb-backed bill barely squeaked by last week, the oversight committee has five Republicans and three Democrats.

And at least one Republican on the committee is not a fan, potentially setting the stage for a 4-4, bill-killing tie.

"I don't really want to get involved in passing legislation that affects teacher morale right now," Sen. Dennis Jones, R-Treasure Island, told the Gradebook. "I'm not sure fooling around with teacher tenure at this time is a positive thing."

Jones, the son of educators, added, "I haven't had any constituents calling me saying, 'I've got a terrible teacher out here.' I don't see (tenure) as a problem really."

Patricia Levesque, who heads Jeb Bush's Foundation for Florida's Future, continues to pound the pavement in support of this bill. She had this to say about it on a Tallahassee radio program this morning:

“Research shows that the majority of teachers are really good…they are fantastic. But, surveys show that 3 to 5 percent possibly should not be teaching. … If you look at the population of Florida’s teaching profession and you take a really conservative estimate – 1 percent – of those teachers, and you say they teach on average 50 students …you are talking about 87,500 students every year – on a conservative look – that are being taught by individuals that all of us would agree should not be teaching in the classroom."

The next stop for the House version (HB 1411) is the House floor.

Ron Matus, State Education Reporter


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:20am]


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