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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Monroe schools offer lesson in contract language as Florida looks to performance pay



Florida lawmakers begin the steady move today to requiring school districts to adopt performance pay. Critics have cautioned that such a move must be done carefully, and that many of the tools needed to make a smooth transition don't yet exist.

The Monroe school district recently adopted a new contract that does away with reliance on seniority, in favor of a performance-based model. And it has inadvertently uncovered a problem that others might learn from as the debate continues. From today's Keynoter:

"Monroe County School District administrators are "taking their lumps" for a three-year contract with union teachers that, based on a "misinterpretation," has cost an additional $550,000 this school year, necessitating corresponding budget cuts.

And there could be additional costs, as well, over the life of the contract as administrators look to hire more-experienced teachers, often at higher salaries than previously paid.

The error was realized after teachers received their second paychecks in January and began calling union and district officials for an explanation on their drastic change in pay.

At least one teacher new to the district received a $29,000 raise from a previous job, and several others saw year-over-year jumps more than $10,000. School Board Chairman John Dick lays the blame squarely with the district bargaining team led by Chief Operating Officer Jesus Jara."

Read more here. And don't forget to check in on the Florida Senate, which is scheduled to consider SB 736 today. The House Education Committee is scheduled to take up HB 7019, its very similar version of the legislation, on Thursday.

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 9:12am]


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