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St. Petersburg Times editorial: Teacher bill needs improvements

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From the St. Petersburg Times editorial board: The Florida House is poised to ram through sweeping changes to employment rules for public school teachers this week without listening to critics or allowing any improvements to the legislation. The bill (SB 6), already approved by the Senate, would abolish tenure for future teachers and make high-stakes testing central to deciding whether teachers get raises or qualify for renewal of their teaching certificate.

Florida needs to make it easier to reward the best teachers and fire the worst. Pay should be based more on merit and less on seniority. But this plan is too punitive and shortsighted, and it could discourage good candidates or strong teachers from staying in public schools. Republican lawmakers should stand up to the House leadership that is blocking all amendments and join Democrats in insisting on some changes. Continue reading here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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