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How many local side agreements are there for Florida's Race to the Top application?



Three questions about the local side agreements still surfacing in Florida's Race to the Top bid: How many are there? What do they say? How much do they matter?

Signing contract At the least they're interesting. After all, Florida teachers unions helped revise the RTTT memorandum of understanding. Their leaders were satisfied. They did everything but sing Kumbaya with Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith.

And yet, with the help of the Florida Education Association, some local unions still thought it necessary to work out side agreements with their districts -- and not tell the state about it.

Is that a problem? At least one credible observer, quoted in today's St. Petersburg Times story, says yes. But by all means, check out the side agreements for yourself.

Here's the one from Hernando. Here's the one from Broward (which is being considered by the school board today, after the state has already sent its application to D.C.). Most of the ones we know about are variations of these, which are modeled after the one signed in Duval.

The Florida Department of Education says it knows of three signed side agreements (in Marion, Hardee and Hendry), but we can confirm the ones in Hernando and Duval (and we're trying to confirm a few others). FEA spokesman Mark Pudlow listed more than a dozen in a conversation with the Gradebook, but he said it's not clear how many of those districts and unions actually had signed local MOU's like the one in Hernando and how many had simply attached this joint statement to their MOU with the state.

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