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Union criticizes lawmakers for deal on teacher raises

In a press release late Sunday, Gov. Rick Scott said he and Florida Education Association President Andy Ford "applauded the House and the Senate's agreement to implement $480 million in teacher pay raises."

Ford clarified the union's position early Monday.

In his own press release, Ford thanked the governor for his efforts "to provide an immediate across-the-board pay increase to Florida's classroom teachers."

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But Ford said the union was "disappointed that the House and Senate leadership have thwarted those efforts by delaying any salary increases, if they are to be provided at all, until June of next year and by requiring that any raises be based on procedures for performance measurement that don't currently exist."

The union president added: "We are also disappointed that the Legislature, without making additional funds available, has required that the money allocated must be distributed to school administrators in addition to the instructional personnel who actually deliver education to our students."

Scott, as you may recall, had been pushing for $2,500 across-the-board pay raises for teachers.

Late Sunday, the House and Senate agreed to performance-based pay raises that will be at least $2,500 for teachers deemed "effective" and up to $3,500 for teachers deemed "highly effective."

The vast majority of Florida teachers are considered "effective" or "highly effective," and will thus see a boost to their base salary. But the teachers' union still has problems with the methodology used to evaluate their performance.