Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

How the Legislature voted on the teacher tenure bill

Eighth and last in a series of columns on key votes taken by the Florida Legislature since the last election.

Whew! Today we come to the end of our review of some the Legislature's most controversial votes over the past two years. Next Sunday we'll sum everything up.

Without a doubt, the biggest issue of the Legislature's 2010 session was Senate Bill 6, which abolished tenure for public schoolteachers in Florida and linked teacher evaluations to student scores on standardized tests.

I would like to point out that this dramatic, sweeping, even radical reform of the entire Florida educational system came only after careful deliberation …

In-depth study …

And mature discussion, with important input from all parties.

I would like to be able to say all that.

Instead, SB 6 was rammed through the Legislature on the fly just a few weeks after it first saw the light of day, with no changes or meaningful interaction allowed.

It was, in short, a triumph of ideology, sloganeering and snap judgment.

After all, we all "know" what's wrong with public education. Let's stick it to those rotten teachers, but good.

SB 6 was the creation of state Sen. John Thrasher, R-Jacksonville, who, not coincidentally, is the chairman of the Florida Republican Party.

In the House, the sponsor was our own state Rep. John Legg, R-New Port Richey.

The whole thing was so much of a rush job that the actual tests, the specific method of evaluating teachers, were left undefined. We were going to come up with that part later.

It was too much even for some of the Republicans who hold the majority in the Legislature, and several Republican legislators defected to join the Democrats in opposition.

The vote therefore was unusually close: in the Senate, 21-17; in the House, 64-55. The House imposed a "no amendment" rule to make sure the bill passed intact, so as not to risk further changes or opposition in a Senate revote.

The bill then landed in the lap of Gov. Charlie Crist, and the whole Florida political establishment held its breath waiting for his decision.

Crist vetoed it.

He compared the way SB 6 was rammed through the Legislature with the way that "Obamacare" health reform was rammed through Congress by Democrats.

Crist's decision to veto the crowning achievement of the Republican Legislature (not to mention a bill that was the heart's desire of former Gov. Jeb Bush) contributed to Crist's final break with the Republican Party, and his decision to run for the U.S. Senate as an independent. Although many teachers at the time said they would vote for Crist, today he is still trailing in the polls.

As for the supporters of SB 6, they say the issue is not going away.

Here's how the lawmakers of the Tampa Bay area voted on the bill:

Senators voting yes:

Victor Crist, R-Tampa; Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey; Ronda Storms, R-Brandon.

Senators voting no:

Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland; Dennis Jones, R-Treasure Island; Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa; Charlie Justice, D-St. Petersburg.

Area House members voting yes:

Kevin Ambler, R-Tampa; Tom Anderson, R-Dunedin; Rachel Burgin, R-Tampa; Jim Frishe, R-Belleair Bluffs; Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton; Rich Glorioso, R-Plant City; Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater; John Legg, R-New Port Richey; Seth McKeel, R-Lakeland; Ron Reagan, R-Bradenton; Rob Schenck, R-Spring Hill, Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel.

House members voting no:

Janet Cruz, D-Tampa; Faye Culp, R-Tampa; Bill Heller, D-St. Petersburg; Ed Homan, R-Tampa; Rick Kriseman, D-St. Petersburg; Janet Long, D-Seminole; Peter Nehr, R-Tarpon Springs; Betty Reed, D-Tampa; Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg; Ron Schultz, R-Homosassa.

How the Legislature voted on the teacher tenure bill 10/16/10 [Last modified: Saturday, October 16, 2010 10:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. J.R. Sweezy shows what Bucs were missing

    Bucs

    By Greg Auman

    TAMPA —- Sunday's season-opening win against the Bears saw the debut of 13 Bucs, a mix of rookies and free-agent veterans.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive guard J.R. Sweezy (73), seen at center, runs through drills during training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Monday, July 31, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

  2. Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs-Vikings features a battle of top rookies

    Bucs

    Greg Auman looks at how much the Bucs have changed since the last time they played the Minnesota Vikings in 2014 in our latest Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Bucs tight end O.J. Howard (80) makes a reception as Chicago Bears free safety Eddie Jackson (39) tackles him Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Hillsborough okays $1.25 million in Hurricane Irma-related spending with more to come

    Blogs

    TAMPA -- Hillsborough County commissioners approved $1.25 million in expenses related to Hurricane Irma on Wednesday with many more costs expected to come.

    The overflowing Alafia River, swollen by rains from Hurricane Irma, caused massive flooding near Lithia Pinecrest Road. On Wednesday, Hillsborough County approved $1.25 million in Irma-related spending.
  4. 'Kingsman: The Golden Circle' is exhausting, crass and too long

    Movies

    Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a tarnished sequel demolishing the original's balderdash charm in a torrent of tumble-dry camera moves, CGI slosh and Elton John f-bombs.

    Taron Egerton stars in Twentieth Century Fox's "Kingsman: The Golden Circle," also starring Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Channing Tatum, Mark Strong, Elton John, Halle Berry and Jeff Bridges. (Giles Keyte/20th Century Fox)
  5. New 'cantina-style' Taco Bells to serve alcohol, ditch drive-thrus by 2022

    Business

    Taco Bell is ditching drive-thrus and adding alcohol.

    Taco Bell plans to open more than 300 "cantina style" stores across the country that ditches the drive-thru and adds alcohol. [Times Files]