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Gov. Scott And Teachers Union Side Against Legislature Over Teacher Raises, For Different Reasons

Governor Rick Scott and the legislature are headed toward a clash over teacher pay raises. Scott wants full-time teachers to get $2,500 across-the-board raises. But the legislature’s plans only get the Governor part of the way there, and he and teachers aren’t pleased.

The House and Senate have agreed to spend the Governor's requested $480 million on merit-based pay raises for all instructional personnel, not just full-time teachers. And it's not across-the-board as Scott wanted. Some educators say the merit pay system is unfair, and Florida Education Association Vice President Joann McCall says two-thirds of teachers were rated based on students they don’t teach.

“Florida’s teacher evaluation system, which relies heavily on standardized testing is flawed and chaotic,” she said.

The teacher’s union has filed a federal lawsuit over the evaluation process which the legislature is working to revise. Despite the dispute, more than 97 percent of teachers were rated as effective and highly effective last year. Meanwhile Governor Rick Scott issued his own warning to lawmakers over the issue:

I’ve been clear about what my priorities are. I know the House and Senate have priorities. I think we all want to have a successful session. I think we will," Scott said Monday, after signing a bill revising the state's high school graduation requirements for students.

For more news updates, follow Lynn Hatter on twitter @HatterLynn