TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) — The Florida Senate education committee is scheduled to discuss a new teacher merit pay bill Wednesday.
SB 736 is an amended version of last year’s highly controversial SB 6 which tied teacher raises to student performance on tests. The bill was previously vetoed by then-Gov. Charlie Crist but Gov. Rick Scott is a strong supporter of it. Gov. Scott believes teachers and schools must be held more accountable to student performance.
In addition to test scores, the evaluations would take into account factors such as student poverty, attendance, disabilities and language skills.
The education panel has also invited Michelle Rhee, former chancellor of D.C. public schools and founder of StudentsFirst, and a nationally known advocate for school reform, to address the committee on Wednesday.
If the bill is passed, 50-percent of teacher pay would be based on the performance of each teacher’s students on standardized tests.
The bill was filed by State Sen. Stephen Wise, a Jacksonville Republican and chairman of the Senate pre-K education committee.
State Rep. Eric Fresen, a Miami Republican who chairs the House education committee, is expected to file a House version in the next two weeks.
Most teachers statewide receive raises based on years of service. They are often evaluated by a school administrator, not by student performance.