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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pasco teachers union edges toward Race to the Top support

The first time around, Pasco County's teacher union was among the first in Florida to publicly refuse to go along with the state's Race to the Top plans.

Among the chief concerns: The written proposal left too much room for school boards to impose conditions on hot-button issues like performance pay even if the negotiations failed.

The state's revised plan includes wording that essentially eliminates the prospect of going to impasse over contract talks that would never have existed but for Race to the Top. (See a statement by key state education leaders clarifying the issue for more.)

That has put the United School Employees of Pasco closer to accepting the RTTT this time. But USEP leaders still want more assurances before signing on the dotted line.

USEP president Lynne Webb has told members that she likely will sign the memorandum of understanding if the Pasco School Board will agree to a separate, local deal that "identifies the scope and limitations of any RTTT2 negotiations and to release the parties from further grant participation if negotiations fail to produce a ratified non-imposed agreement. Other districts are signing similar separate local MOU’s with their unions in a demonstration of good faith."

The School Board is scheduled to take up Race to the Top this afternoon, to consider whether it wants to participate in the grant if Florida wins the money. It backed the grant before and has shown no indication of changing its direction.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 11:02am]


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