Gov. Rick Scott's teacher pay raise plan faces long odds

5:22 PM, Mar 11, 2013   |    comments
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Tallahassee, Florida -- It looks as though Gov. Rick Scott will have a tough time getting his teacher pay raise plan through the Florida Legislature.

Scott has proposed giving a $2,500 raise to all full-time teachers in Florida. His idea would cost the state an extra $480 million next year.

But so far, leaders in the House and Senate have not endorsed the idea.

House Speaker Will Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz both say they would like to reward teachers, but they're talking about giving raises based on performance.

Gaetz says the best way to promote effective teaching is to reward it.

"My preference would be that there'd be some recognition and reward for teachers who come early, stay late, take on tough challenges and get learning gains as opposed to treating the best teacher in Florida the same as you would treat the worst teacher in Florida. We don't give everybody in school a C. There are A's, B's, C's, D's and F's."

Gaetz also raises the question of whether Florida will have enough money for teacher raises. He says the uncertainty over the sequester budget cuts in Washington could affect the state's budget outlook.

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