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Lawmakers React to Crist Veto

April 15th, 2010 by flanews

Teachers are rejoicing, while legislative leaders decry the governor’s veto of Senate Bill Six. Crist says the legislation needs more work, but as Whitney Ray tells us, another teacher tenure, merit pay bill isn’t likely to surface before the end of session.

It was the four letter word teachers were dying to hear.

“I veto Senate Bill 6,” Crist announced at noon Thursday.

And once the announcement was made Democrats, teachers and parents praised the governor.

“He listened. I felt he listened and I think a lot of our people felt he listened, because they were not turned away and they didn’t get form letters back.” heard our concerns,” said Latha Krishnaiyer, the president of the Florida PTA.

The bill to eliminate teacher tenure and base pay on student test scores was rushed through the legislative process.

“We were told no changes,” said Rep. Ed Homan.

Teachers testified for eight hours at a House Committee… but their concerns were ignored. So they reached out to the governor. Calling, emailing, and writing more than 60-thousand letters.

Democrats say the governor gave the teachers the hearing they didn’t get in the House. Representative Alan Williams forwarded letters from teachers in his district to the governor’s office.

“He calls himself the people’s governor and today I think he showed that,” said Williams.

The bill’s Sponsor John Thrasher says the message the governor was getting from teachers unions was flawed.

“They put out a lot of misinformation about the bill and I think that’s probably what got a lot of people angry about the bill,” said Thrasher.

Session ends April 30th, not enough time to revisit the issue, but legislative leaders say the battle isn’t over. And most of the opposition against Senate Bill Six say that’s okay, they just want to be brought to the table the next time tenure and merit pay is discussed.

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