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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

To fix STAR, the stars are lining up



The chairmen of the House and Senate education committees agreed Wednesday to work together to come up with legislation for a new performance-pay plan for teachers. They also agreed to address "implementation problems" with the current program, Special Teachers Are Rewarded, which was hastily passed by the Legislature last year and appears to get more unpopular by the day.

"There is now a public recognition by leadership in both chambers that the STAR system has implementation problems," said Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, shortly after he and Rep. Joe Pickens, R-Palatka, issued a joint statement on STAR and performance pay. "We have a problem … we need to solve."

That doesn't mean lawmakers are abandoning the idea that better teachers should get better pay. Wednesday's joint statement noted the two chairmen "believe the Legislature is unwilling to waiver from its commitment to this policy."

But could it mean this year's version of STAR is kaput? Gaetz said probably not, given that a dozen or so districts have already had their STAR plans approved by the Board of Education. He said more details would be available in a legislative package due in three to four weeks.

- Ron Matus, state education reporter

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:14am]


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