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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

GOP lawmakers press ahead on teacher tenure and quality bill



Democrats in the Florida Senate have begun their press to "slow down this runaway train" of Senate Bill 6, which includes major changes to teacher pay, evaluations and contracts that they contend would keep Florida from luring good teachers in the future.

They're having little luck so far.

The Republican majority so far has rejected the Dems' amendments, such as one that would have the state study the "implications and efficacy" of implementing performance pay for teachers. Sen. John Thrasher, the bill sponsor, suggested in fact that he only wished he had more money to put into merit pay.

Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Tampa, said while she supports performance pay projects that are happening including in Hillsborough schools, waiting for results "would probably be a 10-year period and we don't have that kind of time."

Sen. Dave Aronberg, the Democrat sponsoring the study amendment, urged the Senate to focus on education funding rather than what he considered an unconstitutional proposed law, but to no avail.

Are you watching? The debate is getting hot, and the philosophical differences are clear. Check it out. A final vote isn't expected today, as several amendments remain.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:54am]


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