Gov. Rick Scott Will Sign Teacher Tenure Reform And Merit Pay Law

The law does not so much reform tenure, it just ends tenure:

Florida lawmakers gave final legislative approval Wednesday to a bill aimed at replacing teacher tenure with a merit-based system, in the latest clash between a U.S. state government and public employee unions.

By an 80-39 vote, the Florida House approved largely along party lines a Republican-backed measure that would decide teacher pay according to a yet-to-be determined measure of student performance on standardized tests along with other criteria determined by local school boards.

While allowing current teachers to remain in the tenure system that bases pay predominantly on seniority, new teachers would have less job security because they would have to be rehired each year.

The measure, which passed the state Senate earlier this week, has pitted the new Republican governor, Rick Scott, and the Republican-led Legislature against the state’s largest teachers’ union. Last year, Scott’s Republican predecessor, Charlie Crist, then an independent candidate for the U.S. Senate, vetoed a similar bill.

Efforts by various budget-strapped states to rein in the power of public sector unions have ignited a national struggle.

Supporters of the Florida measure say it replaces an antiquated system that values seniority over competency and provides little incentive for young, energetic teachers to remain in the field.

“This bill is going to improve our system to the benefit of our students,” Scott told reporters. “We will make sure the best teachers stick around, that we retain them, we train them and we’ll find the money to make sure they are paid fairly.”

Bolding mine.

So wait, this will only apply to newly hired teachers? Tell me again why we couldn’t put all the current teachers under this law? What a bunch of nonsense. That means there will be bad teachers for years to come.

Oh well, baby steps I guess. They can’t stay around forever and this more or less breaks the back of teacher union’s bargaining:

“Want to strike? HA! We’ll just hire teachers less incline to join a union. This is, after all, a right-to-work state.” – School Boards Everywhere

Love it. I can’t wait for Rick Scott to sign this into law. I’m sure there are school boards with a liberal slant and that they will give favorable conditions to teachers, but that can now be a local election issue that people will have to debate about.

Also, we don’t have recall here in Florida for state elected officials. Sorry to all those Rick Scott haters out there, but unless he commits a crime he’s in for the full four years. I have nothing against recall in general, but I am personally thankful we don’t have it in Florida. I feel the same way about our national government. I like the idea that we have a sense of continuity to our government, so it’s just another reason I like Florida.

[Cross-Posted On Practical State.com]