Still angling for better-trained pre-K teachers
Florida businesses aren't concerned about just tenure and performance pay and testing when it comes to pushing education reform.
The Florida Council of 100 also sees value in improving the credentials of those who teach our state's youngest students, the teachers in the Voluntary Prekindergarten program. The group has suggested that all pre-K teachers have at least a bachelor's degree — something that pre-K activists have long advocated with little result.
That idea has been an "aspirational goal," one that Gov. Crist and others have supported but not followed through on. The cost of paying for degreed teachers would be too high, and finding enough of them would be too difficult, the argument goes.
State Rep. Janet Long, a Pinellas Democrat, is capitalizing on the Council of 100's latest restatement of the need to push her legislation that would require pre-K teachers to have a bachelor's degree by 2013. "I am inviting legislative leaders to join me and the state's business community in embracing this bold initiative," Long said in a press release.
GOP leaders in the House and Senate have signaled that this year we might see lots of action in education policy (unlike last year, when it was all about the Benjamins). Wait to see if the VPK program, essentially ignored since its implementation, gets a nod.
(Times file photo)