Thursday, February 24, 2011

House Committee passes merit pay bill 11-01

Posted for

Sandra in Brevard

The House K-20 Competitiveness Committee passed the House version of a merit pay bill. Minimal differences between the House bill, 11-01, and SB736. Committee Chair Erik Fresen is quoted as saying that "change and reform are scary, but members would look back on today and realize they developed a system that gave each student quality teachers and administrators." I find no information that fiscal impact was discussed. I find no legislative analysis either. The public has a right to know how much this bill will cost above and beyond Race to the Top (RT3) funds, how will those school districts who did not sign on to participate in RT3 be funded or pay for this mandate, and where will the money come from.

Contractors are already on board to help with implementation of the bill.

1) "Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Educational Consulting Services Selected by the Florida Department of Education to Implement a Statewide Teacher and Leader Evaluation System As part of its Race to the Top initiative, the Florida Department of Education, through its partnership with HMH, will provide school districts across the state with a research-based framework and implementation services for a teacher and leader evaluation system."

2) The Center for Teacher Quality has been working with 17 Florida school districts since last year to implement effective evaluation systems. Their website lists some interesting funding partners. In a letter to Florida legislators, the company points to the need for adequate funding.

"If the state and local districts implement the TeacherSolutions, adequate funding must be in place to ensure effective implementation."

"Given our current budget downturn, the state and local districts should consider ways in which to find new dollars to implement these recommendations. Teachers should not be forced to lose compensation in order to fund these ideas."

Adequate funding? New dollars? I haven't heard anything about those items yet.

Meanwhile, Providence, Rhode Island sent lay off notices to all its public school teachers. They are out of money to run the schools due to budget deficits.


The Senate Budget committee voted in favor of SB736, cutting off discussion and debate. No cost analysis found. Senator Haridopolos announced the full Senate will vote on the bill sometime after March 8. I have found no cost analysis.

Missed a blog on SB736 or want to read one again? You will find them all here.




  1. Would someone kindly tell me how a state that is looking at at a 3 plus billion dollar shortfall can spend somewhere over a billion bucks on a new anything without talking about what it will cost and where the money's coming from.

  2. When you get that answer, will you share it with me?

    I'd also like to know what a Budget Committee is supposed to do.

  3. SB736 will be voted on by the Florida Senate on March 9. The information was posted today and can be found here:


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