Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas teachers support revised application for Race to the Top grant

The teachers union in Gov. Charlie Crist's home county of Pinellas indicated Friday it will support the state's revised application for a $700 million Race to the Top grant, making it the first big-district union in Florida to do so.

The move could be a sign that the state's teachers unions, who nearly all opposed Florida's first application, are on board with the revisions that were hammered out after Crist formed a task to address the lack of union buy-in.

Pinellas union president Kim Black said union representatives gave her a green light late Thursday to sign a revised memorandum of understanding that is key to the application.

"It's not like they were holding their nose, but I could sense a bit of hesitancy. We just survived Hurricane Senate Bill 6," said Black, referring to a controversial teacher tenure bill that Crist vetoed. "But our initial concerns with the first memorandum of understanding have been addressed."

Crist appointed Black to the task force. But she said she told members that her appointment "in no way locks them in" to supporting the revised memorandum.

Florida's first Race to the Top application, which narrowly missed winning, would have sparked big changes in how Florida pays and evaluates teachers. But only five of Florida's 67 local teachers unions - and only two big-district unions, Hillsborough's and Duval's - signed on, complaining that it was too much too fast.

The revised application includes a more flexible way of evaluating teachers, including a less stringent definition of student performance. It allows district to target the mandated changes to the most struggling schools, rather than putting them in place district wide. And it also better protects unions from having some changes imposed on them by districts.

The memorandum seeks to get signatures from the superintendent, school board chair and union president in each district. Pinellas Superintendent Julie Janssen the school board supported the first memorandum, but have not revisited the issue.

The board is expected to discuss the issue at May 20 workshop. They're expected to vote on the matter May 25, the same day all signatures are due to the state Department of Education.

Ron Matus can be reached at or (727) 893-8873.

Pinellas teachers support revised application for Race to the Top grant 05/07/10 [Last modified: Friday, May 7, 2010 3:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays Tales: The stories behind Corey Dickerson's ascension

    The Heater

    The 25 pounds DH/LF Corey Dickerson lost during the winter through diet and exercise are considered the primary reason for his ascension to one of the American League's most productive hitters, going into the weekend leading in hits, multi-hit games and total bases, and ranked in the top five in average, runs and …

    Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) connects for a sac fly, scores Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) in the fourth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
  2. Gregg Allman of The Allman Brothers Band dies at age 69

    Music & Concerts

    SAVANNAH, Ga. — Music legend Gregg Allman, whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel the Allman Brothers Band to superstardom and spawn Southern rock, died Saturday, a publicist said. He was 69.

    This Oct. 13, 2011 file photo shows Gregg Allman performs at the Americana Music Association awards show in Nashville, Tenn. On Saturday, May 27, 2017, a publicist said the musician, the singer for The Allman Brothers Band, has died. (AP Photo/Joe Howell, File)
  3. Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning, a former senator, dies at 85


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jim Bunning, a former Hall of Fame pitcher who went on to serve in Congress, has died. He was 85.

    In this June 21, 1964 file photo, Jim Bunning of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches a perfect game against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium in New York.  The Phillies beat the Mets, 6-0.  Bunning retired all 27 batters who faced him in the first game of a doubleheader to become the first pitcher in 42 years with a perfect game in regular season play.   (AP Photo/File)
  4. Trump to decide next week whether to quit Paris climate agreement


    TAORMINA, Italy —President Donald Trump declined to endorse the Paris climate accords on Saturday, saying he would decide in the coming days whether the United States would pull out of the 195-nation agreement.

    President Donald Trump, right, arrives to a G7 session with outreach countries in Taormina, Italy, on Saturday. Climate and trade were sticking points at the two-day summit in Taormina, Sicily. (AP Photo/Salvatore Cavalli)
  5. Gregg Allman, iconic Southern rocker from Florida's Allman Brothers Band, dies at 69


    The end can come quickly for those who live fast and live hard, who create worlds with their talent and sometimes come close to throwing them away.