Still want the money
Pasco County School Board vice chairwoman Kathryn Starkey was not willing to pinch her nose and vote for the Special Teachers Are Rewarded performance pay plan last week, despite knowing the district could lose millions of dollars by opting out. "I felt we needed to make a stand," Starkey told the Gradebook today. "But I'm no dummy. I'd like to get the money." That's why she's now throwing her support behind the Senate bill to revise STAR, and suggesting that others do the same. SB 1226 would repeal the controversial law and reallocate the $147.5-million set aside for teacher bonuses among all school districts - regardless of whether they met the March 1 STAR deadline. (Twenty-two districts missed the mark.) "I want our teachers to earn more," Starkey said. "A well-paid teacher is a happy teacher." The Florida Education Association, by contrast, is urging its members to write Gov. Charlie Crist, asking him to support higher teacher pay rather than bonuses.