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Teacher Merit Pay Bill Moving Through Senate

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TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – The Florida Senate bill that calls for the development of a merit pay system for teachers based on student achievement sailed through a Senate Budget subcommittee Tuesday.

The measure, SB 736, would force the Commissioner of Education and school districts with input from the state teachers union, and school boards to set the rules for evaluating future teachers and tie their pay to those evaluations, according to the News Service of Florida.

The plan is similar to Senate Bill 6 from the last legislative session. SB6 drew widespread protests from teachers, school officials, parents, and students and was eventually vetoed by then-Florida Governor Charlie Crist.

The problem with basing teacher pay on student achievement is the amount of variables, such as parenting, that also play just as large of a role in student achievement.

However, Governor Rick Scott has openly endorsed the idea and that means there is little any teacher or other group can do to stop the merit pay plan from taking over in Florida.

Current teachers could remain a compensation system based on tenure, under the proposal. Any new teachers hired would be placed into the merit pay system, according to the News Service Of Florida.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service Of Florida contributed to this report.)

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