Protect performance pay
Teachers, finance officers, superintendents and school boards across Florida have urged lawmakers to postpone implementing the new Merit Award Program, which would give bonuses to teachers based on student performance. They say delaying the $150-million program makes sense, given the state's $1.5-billion budget crunch.
The State Board of Education disagrees.
"We would like to have that be off the table as far as budget cuts," said board member Kathleen Shanahan (left), who won her colleagues' support to send that message to the Governor's Office and the Legislature.
She offered an alternative way to boost revenue for schools instead - more Lotto games. "The lottery is a significant opportunity," Shanahan said. "If there is anything to be done as far as a new game, ratchet it up. It is for K-12... It is something I would definitely put it on the governor's agenda."
"We'll make sure that is communicated," Commissioner Blomberg told the board.