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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Debate on teacher overhaul begins in Fla. House



The debate on a teacher overhaul bill is on right now in the Florida House (watch here). It is the first of two marathon sessions scheduled to discuss the proposed law. The second and final one will be on Wednesday.

This afternoon, the House will vote to replace its bill with a version that cleared the Senate last week. That will allow the House to send the legislation directly to Gov. Rick Scott, if the bill does not get amended Tuesday afternoon. (Scott has indicated he will sign the bill.)

Democratic lawmakers have proposed four amendments to the law, but they are not expected to go anywhere. Similar revisions were shot down earlier in committees.

With Republicans holding veto-proof supermajorities in both chambers of the Legislature, the only thing Democrats can really do here is talk about their problems with Senate Bill 736, which opponents call "son of six" -- a reference to last year's contentious Senate Bill 6, the Legislature's first stab at tying teacher pay to students' test performance and eliminating so-called tenure.

The House Democratic Office gave reporters in the press gallery a list of talking points Tuesday -- printed on a page made to look like a Scantron, the bubble sheet students have to fill out with standardized tests. Attached was a No. 2 pencil.

[Last modified: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 3:23pm]


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