Parent Trigger Fails
Just before noon, the Florida Senate voted on the "Parent Trigger" bill (HB 867) and in a vote of 20-20, the initiative failed. You can view the full vote and we encourage you to contact those Senators that voted "No" to thank them. This is the second year in a row that the Senate has voted down the measure.
Raises for Administrators & Teachers
As you all are likely aware, the final budget that was filed Monday in the legislature contains language for school districts with regard to salary increases for teachers, principals and assistant principals. Your FASA Legislative team has been working with other association and district lobbyists to resolve these issues with the budget. We are reporting on this because it impacts your salary as well as that of your teachers.
The problematic section of the budget can be read . There are many issues with this language. It delays salary increases until June of 2014 and requires that such raises be based on performance. This is troublesome because school districts will not have received the school year 2013-2014 test scores from AP, IB and other assessments by the June 2014 deadline. Some of these test results are not available until October or November 2014! If districts were to use previous year's scores to determine effectiveness levels, this would cause problems as it is unreasonable to base current year salary increases on the performance of students from prior school years. Additionally, after many years with no salary increases, to postpone raises by another year only delays the monetary relief that many school employees need.
We are working to ensure that this money is distributed as early as possible in the school year. We are also advocating for the addition of other administrators to be included in the salary increases from this or other sources. FASA has participated in the development of alternative language that can be added to other bills and passed before Legislative session ends this Friday. Hopefully, such new language can facilitate and expedite the salary increases proposed by the Governor, advocated by FASA and others and funded by the Legislature. We have met with representatives from the Governor's office, the Department of Education and House staff to develop a solution. We will continue to work hard to cultivate a resolution and will keep you informed as to our progress.