Monday, March 28, 2011

Gov. Scott signs Florida teacher pay, tenure bill

His signature on Senate Bill 736 marked the first law enacted by the new Republican governor.

Merit pay and a new teacher evaluation plan that goes along with it won't go into effect until 2014, but districts will begin spending millions to develop new student tests needed to implement those provisions during the next year while facing sharp budget cuts, Pudlow said. Tentative budget proposals in the Legislature include major cuts, although not as steep as the 10 percent reduction in spending per student that Scott has proposed.

Teachers hired after July 1 will be the first affected by the legislation because that's when the tenure ban begins. It limits those teachers to one-year contracts, meaning school officials can terminate them without reason at the end of every school year.

The evaluation system used to determine which teachers get merit raises and those who may face dismissal will be based at least half on how much their students improve on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test and other exams over a three year period.

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