Senate OK’s merit pay for teachersby John Kennedy | March 10th, 2011
The Florida Senate approved legislation Thursday that would end tenure and tie teacher pay to student performance — the latest round in a long clash between Republican lawmakers and the state teachers union.
The 26-12 vote split on party lines, with Democrats opposed.
Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando, was the lone Democrat to crossover and support the measure; Republican Sens. Dennis Jones of Seminole and Paula Dockery of Lakeland joined Democratic opponents.
The measure (CS/SB 736) is similar to legislation that convulsed Florida last spring, before then-Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed it following demonstrations and letter-writing campaigns by the Florida Education Association.
Crist broke with the Republican Party following his veto; and the FEA endorsed Democrat Alex Sink over the GOP’s Rick Scott in last fall’s governor’s race.
Scott campaigned in favor of the legislation.
“This bill ought to be a teacher’s dream – to be paid for a student’s success,” said Sen. Steve Wise, R-Jacksonville, sponsor of the bill.