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Miami-Dade Teachers Take To The Streets To Denounce Merit Pay

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WEST MIAMI (CBS4) – School teachers are angry about a proposal—Senate Bill 736—that would put teachers hired after 2014 on one year contracts, effectively eliminating tenure. The bill also would tie a huge portion of their pay to their students’ standardized test scores. If it sounds like a redo of the controversial Senate Bill 6 which was vetoed by then Governor Crist last year, that is because it is.

Miami-Dade 7th grade teacher Emy Gomis joined a street protest Thursday and as passing motorist honked their support.

She told CBS4’s Michael Williams, “Kids are not products. They are human beings. We need to nurture them. They come to us with a lot of problems we need to sort out and it is not as easy as people think.”

Another teacher, Heather Blackmon, said, “None of us came into education to make money. We are here for our students. We want to do our jobs. There are amazing, awesome teachers out here. We are working with less every single year, trying to do more.”

Teachers feel hemmed in on all sides—proposed multibillion dollar cuts to Florida’s education budget, pension reform that could impact their salaries, and new accountability measures they worry are poorly though out. But Governor Scott has made it clear he supports new standards for teacher performance and this debate is only going to intensify in the months ahead.

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