Florida Senate Passes 'Merit Pay' Bill for Teachers
Yesterday, the Florida Senate passed the “Merit Pay” bill, which will link pay and lay-offs to a teacher’s effectiveness. If signed into law, new teachers will only be offered one-year contracts, and by 2014 half of a teacher’s evaluation will be based on their students’ test scores. “What this bill says is do your hard work because you are going to be recognized for it,” Senator Anitere Flores, Miami (D) told ABC.
A number of teachers are protesting the new bill, arguing that it penalizes younger teachers. “It’s going to be hard for them to go out and get a car loan or a home mortgage because they’re going to have to tell the bank, well I only have a job this year. I don’t know if I’ll have it next year,” said Barbara Haggerty, a tenured teacher who will not be affected by the bill.
Governor Rick Scott is in favor of the bill, arguing that “we want teachers to stick around and by making sure we pay the most effective teachers more, we’ll do better.” He says he will sign the bill if it passes the House next week.
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