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What's ahead for teachers?

The Florida House and Florida Senate have separate bills for changing teacher pay, contracts, certification and evaluations. The House bill will have its first hearing today.

While their language differs slightly in places, the two bills up for consideration include essentially the same provisions with just a few places where they diverge.

The Florida Education Association and local teacher groups have announced their opposition to the legislation as written, saying it's not educationally sound. They don't necessarily seek to derail the move, Pinellas teachers union president Kim Black said. "We're looking to tweak certain parts of it."

Many veteran Tallahassee observers say they can't see the session ending without a version of the bill passing to the governor's desk.

Jeffrey Solochek, Times staff writer

INSIDE: A brief comparison of key points in Senate Bill 736 and the House K-20 Competitiveness Committee's proposed Bill 11-01 is on 3B.

Here is a comparison of key points of education legislation affecting Florida teachers.

Both bills would

. Create four levels of teacher performance: highly effective, effective, needs improvement and unsatisfactory.

. Base performance evaluations at least 50 percent upon three years' worth of student assessments.

. Give principals the opportunity to reject teachers who have not been rated highly effective or effective.

. End teacher contracts for those who have two unsatisfactory evaluations in three years.

. Create performance-based pay scales for teachers hired after July 1, 2014, and any other teachers who opt into the program.

. Place teachers hired after July 1, 2011, on annual rather than continuing contracts.

. End the "last in-first out" seniority priority for layoffs.

. Allow cost-of-living raises, but not to exceed 50 percent of the annual raise given to teachers rated as effective.

Differences in the bills

. The Senate version would allow for ending the contract of a teacher who received three consecutive needs improvement ratings. The House does not include that item.

. The Senate version would require the commissioner of education to consult with experts in developing the performance levels. The House does not set that requirement.

. The Senate version makes it clear that substitute teachers are excluded from the evaluation rules. The House version does not.

What's ahead for teachers? 02/22/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 10:54pm]
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