Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Legislation/Advocacy Update

The unusual public debate on SB 0006 continues, with the volume of related newspaper articles, editorials. blog posts, e-mail messages, telephone calls, and Facebook groups growing to phenomenal levels. The Governor is scheduled to be in Miami on Friday, so some predictions are for his decision about SB 0006 to take place sometime on Thursday. There is considerable discussion online about the possibility of a rare public veto. It is also possible that the Governor will choose to announce his decision on Friday in Miami. Several key events and official statements in the debate are noted below.


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Orlando Sentinel: FL superintendents: We say veto merit-pay law, too (Web page)


The Florida Association of District School Superintendents sent a letter (PDF) to the Governor explaining that although they "embraced the goals and major concepts" of the bill, they were calling upon him to veto the bill. The outlined their concerns and called for renewed effort based on collaboration and stakeholder participation. 


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Florida School Boards Association: Letter encourages Governor to veto SB 0006 (PDF)


Writing on behalf of Florida district school boards, FSBA President Georgia Bowen and Executive Director Wayne Blanton wrote a letter (PDF) to the Governor citing several fatal flaws in SB 0006 and encouraging him to veto the bill.


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Palm Beach Post: Senate rules chairman urges Crist to veto ‘unconstitutional mess’ teacher pay bill (Web page)


Sen. Alex Villalobos (R-Miami), the Senate Rules Committee chairman, wrote a letter (PDF) to the Governor encouraging him to veto the bill on constitutional grounds. Villalobos was one of only four Republican senators to vote against the bill.


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Diane Ravitch's Twitter Feed; Thank a Teacher (Web page)


The education historian continued her opposition to SB 0006 with a tweet (Web page) addressed specifically to the Governor. The follows on her now-famous open letter to the Florida Legislature (Web page)


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Palm Beach Post: Supporters of merit pay push back (YouTube Web page with embedded video. This page may be blocked by some workplace filters.)


Key supporters of SB 0006 spoke out in favor of the bill, and explained that teachers who oppose the bill are probably misinformed about it contents. According to the Palm Beach Post, Commissioner of Education Eric Smith and K-12 Chancellor Frances Haithcock were scheduled to appear but were apparently not able to do so. Speakers included:

  • Marshall Criser (former President of the University of Florida, longtime member of the Board of Regents, and the Florida Council of 100)
  • Patricia Levesque (Foundation for Florida's Future)
  • Mark Wilson (Florida Chamber of Commerce)

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