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  • Schools Not Jumping at Uniform Switch 1, August4, 2015
    The legislature put incentive money on the table for schools that made the switch to mandatory uniforms this year. But as Matt Galka tells us, not many districts are jumping at the idea. Teacher Rod Durham didn’t grow up wearing a uniform for school “I did not, I went to the high school I teach […]
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  • New Environmental Rules 1, August3, 2015
    The President announced a new rule Monday set at cutting into greenhouse gasses that experts say are helping to cause climate change. As Matt Galka tells us, environmentalists in the state are praising the effort. Florida will have to continue to cut down on greenhouse gasses under a new federal plan released Monday.   The […]
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  • Preventing Wildfires 1, July31, 2015
    National wildlife groups  are ramping up efforts across the southeast to help out vulnerable ecosystems, and that includes plant life here in Florida. As Matt Galka tells us, part of that effort is teaching people the difference between good fires and bad fires, and hopefully preventing wildfires. The longleaf pine once stretched from Virginia to Texas […]
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  • Docs vs. Glocks Battle Continues 1, July30, 2015
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  • Third Special Session Called 1, July29, 2015
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  • Walton County Votes to Replace Confederate Flag…With Different Confederate Flag 1, July28, 2015
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  • State, Tribe Fire Off Letters On Gaming 1, July27, 2015
    The deal allowing blackjack and other table games at Seminole casinos in the state is just about up. As Matt Galka tells us, the state is wondering when the Tribe will end those games. Cards are still being dealt at Seminole Casinos around the state…for now.  The provision in the Seminole Compact that gives the […]
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  • State Seeks E-Cig Regulations from Feds 1, July24, 2015
    The state’s top doctor is calling for warning labels on e cigarette devices and vials of liquid nicotine., It is already illegal for anyone under 18 to use or be sold e cigarette products, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, being illegal hasn’t stopped an explosion in underage use. State lawmakers make it clear last […]
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  • ADA Turns 25 1, July24, 2015
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  • Attorneys General Want Big Five Phone Companies to Crack Down on Robo Calls 1, July23, 2015
    If you’ve ever scrambled to answer your phone only to hear a recorded message, you are not alone. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, 45  State Attorneys General, including Florida’s, want the phone companies to do something about the calls. The come on a daily basis. Calls offering something for nothing. “It’s already been paid for, […]
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Teachers Sue to Stop Merit Pay

September 14th, 2011 by Mike Vasilinda

Six Florida teachers have filed a lawsuit claiming new legislation abolishing tenure and creating a system of merit pay violates the state constitution. Article I, section six guarantees collective bargaining, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the teachers believe the new law limits what can be bargained.

Beth Weatherstone and Carolyn Loftin had never met before Wednesday, but they came to the Capitol from opposite sides of the state to file a lawsuit against a new merit pay law that they say infringes on their right to bargain.

Their attorney, Ron Meyer, filed the suit in Circuit court.

Im reminded of what is attribute to Henry Ford when he rolled out the Model T, you can have any color as long as its black. Thats what were telling public employees in this state is you can bargain anything you want as long as it looks like this,” Meyer said. “Thats not effective collective bargaining.

Six teachers are plaintiffs in this lawsuit.

Beth joined in because she believes the law forces her to choose between really teaching her Vero Beach students to understand algebra or teaching them to perform on a test so she can keep her job.

I know I will teach them the Algebra I, but I could be let go within a two to three year period and lose my certification to teach because of that FCAT test,” she said.

Carolyn is a 35-year classroom veteran who feels like policy makers minimize what it takes to perform in a room full of kindergartners.

Kindergarten students are very smart,” she said. “Theyre eager to learn and I do believe that I make a difference in their lives, they want to be in school and they enjoy being there.

Most school districts in the state are fighting the clock. They face a September 30th deadline to come up with a plan to reward merit pay, even though lawmakers put no money into the plan and most school budgets are being cut.

Posted in Education, Legislature, State News | 3 Comments »

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