Make us your home page


Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Gov. Crist has no plan to veto teacher quality bill, but would reject retirement changes



A weekend report from a Tampa television station, complete with video, implied that Gov. Charlie Crist would veto SB 6 if it finds its way to his desk.

Call it a case of editing that obscured the message. For Crist backs the proposal to change the way teachers are paid and evaluated, ideas that fall in line with Florida's effort to secure federal Race to the Top funds.

"He was not referring to a veto of Senate Bill 6," Crist spokesman Sterling Ivey told the Gradebook. "He actually supports that bill and merit pay for teachers."

The bill he told teachers he would veto is House Bill 1319, which would curtail benefits for teachers and other employees who participate in the state retirement system.

Longtime Pasco County teacher Vivian Garner, who you see hugging Crist after he pledged to veto the retirement bill, confirms that he made no such promise for SB 6, which she opposes. She was thrilled regardless to hear the governor's position on HB 1319, which has yet to gain legs in the Legislature.

"He looked me in the eye and he said to me, 'If that bill comes to my desk I will veto it,'" Garner said. "We were very excited."

SB 6 heads to the Senate floor on Tuesday. A House companion bill is still in the works.

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


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours