Three hours, 120 speakers for HB 7189
Florida House Education Policy Council chairman Will Weatherford just announced that 120 people have signed up to speak on SB 6 / HB 7189, which would change the way teachers are evaluated, paid, certified and contracted.
They have until 6:30 p.m., when member debate is scheduled to begin.
Weatherford said he hopes to give everyone a chance to speak, though he acknowledged it could be tough.
FEA president Andy Ford is the first up, and though he praised the House for being nicer to teachers than the Senate was, he says the result is unlikely to be different. All Democrat-sponsored amendments went down to defeat already.
"It's a slap in the face to teachers who have dedicated their lives to Florida's schoolchildren," he said of the bill. "This Legislature is once again taking the wrong approach."
Ford criticized the bill as not the best way to improve school for children. The bill asks for trust in the Florida Department of Education, he said, but "there is no trust in the Department of Education." He also called for more collaboration.
Earlier today, the council unanimously approved a bill that would replace the high school FCAT with end-of-course exams and also change high school graduation requirements.