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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Legislation says pay teachers first



Cutting teacher pay would become more difficult under legislation that will be filed soon by two South Florida lawmakers.

District officials could not recommend salary increases for administrators until they had first increased teacher pay by a greater percentage, and district administrators could not make more than twice what the district's average teacher makes, according to the bills being prepared by Sen. Alex Villalobos, R-Miami, and Rep. Luis Garcia, D-Miami Beach.

Villalobos"I view teachers as the goose that lays the golden egg," Villalobos said during a press conference this morning. "You have to take care of them first."

The legislation would also allow citizens to recall school board members.

This morning's announcement, which included United Teachers of Dade president Karen Aronowitz, comes after months of scrapping between the Miami-Dade school district and the UTD over broken promises for pay raises. It also comes as Florida school districts look at even bigger budget cuts ahead, prompting some of them to float the idea of teacher pay cuts.

"Outcomes for students are directly related to people in our classrooms," Aronowitz said. "We ought to stop looking at them as a piggy bank for the district's budgeting."

- Ron Matus, state education reporter

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:13am]


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