SB 6 may rattle Florida universities, too
If SB 6 passes, it looks like it'll be a lot harder for teachers to get extra money for having advanced degrees. But they won't be the only ones affected. If the incentive for pursuing teaching-related master's and doctoral degrees dries up, Florida's university system - not to mention private schools like Nova Southeastern University - will take a financial hit, too.
Tom Auxter, president of the United Faculty of Florida, touched on that in an e-mail he sent out this week that encouraged professors to fight higher ed budget cuts and "attacks on teachers and colleges of education." He writes:
SB 6 and HB 7189 "abolish tenure for teachers, end salary raises for advanced degrees, and radically cut budgets for colleges of education. They are an attack on professionalism in K-12 education - firing teachers at will without regard for credentials or academic freedom. They force teachers to be evaluated and retained only if teachers increase student test scores. If these bills pass, higher education is next."
We're trying to get data that shows how many advanced teaching degrees are awarded by Florida universities. For what it's worth, there was a debate, even before SB 6, about whether teachers should get extra money for having advanced degrees.
UPDATE: According to the Florida Board of Governors, the State University System granted 3,160 master's degrees in education last year and 309 doctoral degrees. That would be 21 percent and 16 percent of all master's and doctoral degrees, respectively.