Governor won't get $2,500 raises for teachers

Rick Scott couldn't convince lawmakers to give across-the-board teacher raises

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Instead of approving across-the-board pay raises for teachers as Gov. Rick Scott requested, lawmakers have decided a raise should be based on a teacher's performance.

Scott made $2,500 per teacher pay raises one of his top priorities for the 2013 Legislative session.

After meeting over the weekend, some lawmakers are saying to get that raise, a teacher will have to prove they've earned it by their performance.

"I believe that it's important that we reward our best teachers and I think that's what businesses throughout Florida do every day," said state Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach. "I think it's very appropriate to do the same thing with education and quite frankly, state government."

Jacksonville area teacher unions was disappointed. Union leaders believe the methods for evaluating performance are flawed, and the evaluations are be challenged in court.

They also said pay-by-performance holds teachers to a higher, unfair standard.

"Other workers across the state, like state workers, police and fire don't have to show accountability for those raises," said Dawn Chapman of St. Johns Educators Union. "So why are we being treated differently?"

Those who support performance-based pay said they don't see how it's being unfair. They said the majority of teachers receive high marks on their evaluations.

"If you look at only 3 to 5 percent not graded as effective, I really fail to see where the tax payers and citizens of Florida would have difficulty accepting this policy of giving raises based on merit and performance," said Adkins. "We want what's best for everybody, because we're all in this together."