Teachers union challenging Florida's differentiated accountability rule
Talk about flying under the radar. As drama was building over Senate Bill 6, the Florida Education Association quietly filed a legal challenge to another sweeping measure: Florida's differentiated accountability system.
The March 29 petition to the state Division of Administrative Hearings says the Florida Board of Education went too far by adopting a differentiated accountability rule (6A-1.099811) on March 26 that steps on collective bargaining rights. The rule, which implements a state law signed by Gov. Charlie Crist last summer, "exceeds its statutory authority by mandating terms and conditions of employment including, but not limited to, transfers, vacancies, teacher reassignments, hiring practices, performance pay, and length of the work day and work week," the petition says.
Remember: The long reach of differentiated accountability, which requires an escalating series of requirements for schools that don't improve fast enough, is part of the reason some districts signed on to the first Race to the Top application. Why not support the application, some said, given that "DA" is forcing districts to make a lot of these changes anyway.
The petition is headed for a hearing June 17.
The FEA filed a motion for summary final order last week. "I think what we're trying to do is get them to dial back that reach a little bit" and let local unions and districts exercise their authority, FEA spokesman Mark Pudlow told the Gradebook.
For what it's worth, both sides are talking nice and saying they're hopeful a settlement can be reached before the hearing.