Florida Governor Rick Scott will now have his say on Republican-sponsored legislation setting up a merit pay plan for Florida teachers and ending tenure for new hires. The bill is one of the Republican governor’s top priorities. It’s the first bill the Legislature has sent Scott since he took office. Former Governor Charlie Crist, then a Republican who later became an independent, vetoed a similar bill 11 months ago after public outcry. The new version of the bill is similar to a $700 million federal Race to the Top education grant that includes a move to merit pay. Opponents say the bill will take away due process for teachers and their rights to collective bargaining.
A two-day hearing is fueling anticipation about a federal judge's upcoming decision whether to block provisions of a new Florida law requiring ex-felons to repay all court fines and fees before they can be allowed to vote in future elections.