Teachers Alarmed By Plans In Tallahassee To Enact Merit Pay

04/07/10 Robert Lorei
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Coming up today we'll talk with members of a local teacher's union who are planning to hold a rally today in opposition to the teacher merit pay legislation making its way through the legislature.

But first some listener comments about yesterday's program. The segment that received the most comments was the one about America's prison system. Yesterday we heard from Robert Perkinson, the author of a new book about the rapid expansion of the nation's prison system in the past 40 years.

Teachers, parents and school board officials are very concerned about moves by the state legislature that they say will hurt the state's education system.

Three hotly-debated education bills are heading for what appears to be final passage in the Florida House.

The chamber begins floor action today on a proposed state constitutional amendment (SJR 2) that would loosen class size limits and a bill (SB 6) that would make it easier to fire teachers and link their pay to student test scores.

Another bill (SB 2126) on the calendar would expand a program that provides private school vouchers to low income students.

Votes are expected today or tomorrow.

All three measures are backed by most Republicans in the GOP-controlled Legislature. The Florida Senate already has passed all three over opposition from the state-wide teachers union and most Democrats.

Joining us to talk about the education proposals are Jean Clements, President of the Hillsborough Classroom Teacher's Association (HCTA), and Nick Whitman, Executive Director of the HCTA.

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