Sunday, January 30, 2011

Merit Pay: Senator Wise hints at significant roadblocks to bill development

Posted for

Sandra in Brevard

Senator Stephen Wise is described as the "Senate's key player in the movement to reform teacher pay." A few key issues emerged after a week of committee meetings and from the three hour public workshop in Tallahassee on Thursday. These issues are not new, but significant ones that went unaddressed in last year's legislative attempt that led to Governor Crist's veto. Senator Wise indicates that merit pay is a complex issue that may require more than one year to sort out, the legislature needs to figure out how it will fund merit pay, and how teachers of special needs children will be evaluated. The input at the public meeting repeated last year's calls for greater local control over merit pay decision-making versus increased Tallahassee regulation. Nevertheless, Wise "hopes to have a bill in the second or third week of March."

It looks like fiscal responsibility, 100% missing in SB6, has found a place at the table this year:

"Lawmakers must also work out how to pay for a performance pay system. The state's Race to the Top money will help some districts put into place a system to evaluate educators, but the federal program does not provide dollars for a salary bump. There is a limited pool of state money for districts that want to participate in merit pay, but it is like not enough for statewide participation."

Not only was I unavailable to travel to Tallahassee for the workshop, but I could not view it via live-streaming from my workplace. So far, a replay has not been uploaded. Nevertheless, you can see Senator Wise's video invite, the workshop if it appears, and other meetings you might be interested in here:

Grumpy Note: Wise is no idiot, he's perfecty aware that parts of Florida are almost a ten hour drive from Tally. Even Jacksonville is three boring hours behind the wheel from Tallahasse. Making the trip was out of the question for most people, and he knew it.

His announcement wasn't an invitation, he went through the motions so he could tell us later he'd invited the public.  In truth, it wasn't an invitation it was pure horse manure 


  1. I think there is a minimum requirement for legislators on announcing meetings. There is no requirement that the be held anywhere but Tally. If you want to know what is going on, go to the Senate website:

    If you want to watch committee meetings/workshops live or replayed, look here:

    Not everything gets live streaming or replays, but this specific workshop went live, no replay posted.....yet.

  2. Sandra, It would probably be as easy, or eaiser for most Floridans to get to DC for a next day hearing than getting to Tally


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