Janssen to Crist: Veto SB 6
Lots of folks have been telling Gov. Crist to veto SB 6, but Pinellas Superintendent Julie Janssen got to do it in person. Janssen took the lead in arranging a meeting with Crist Friday, in which she said she told him the bill was too sweeping, and too full of unanswered questions, to rush through and get wrong.
"It is huge. There's so much. It's so complicated," Janssen told The Gradebook. "To just railroad it through just doesn't make sense."
Janssen's push for a veto is another sign of how much of Crist's home county of Pinellas is against the bill. School board members have disparaged it. The teachers union leadership has opposed it. And last week, more than 500 Pinellas teachers took to the streets to rally against it.
Janssen met with Crist after he attended an event at a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission office in St. Petersburg. Also attending: Pinellas teachers union president Kim Black; union executive director Marshall Ogletree; and businessman/philanthropist Gus Stavros.
Janssen said she raised concerns about a lack of funding, erosion of local control and development of end-of-course exams. "I think we should sit down and do it right so it's workable," she said. "There are so many good points to it. We do need to look at how we do teacher evaluations. I don't think anyone is opposed to performance pay. But let's do it the right way. Let's make it fair."
The meeting lasted about half an hour, Janssen said. And Crist listened.
"He promised he had heard us," she said. "And he promised he would seriously think about it."