I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Florida SB6-Recent History and the Way Ahead--Could SB6 be Passed by the Full Senate This Thursday?

Senate Bill six, the controversial teacher compensation bill that has everyone in Education circles in the State of Florida talking, is quickly making it's way through the Florida senate.  Several inside sources now report that passage of Senate Bill six looks "highly likely."

On Friday, March 19th, the senate ways and means committee heard the bill, added some amendments, and passed the measure along party lines via a 15-8 vote.  Significant ammendments to the bill  were added by the Policy and Steering Committee on Ways and Means in order  to:

• Eliminate the millage levy from the bill (I'm very relieved to hear this--I hated the idea of an additional millage levy penalty)

• Designate a performance fund within the FEFP for each district and charter school that is equal to five percent of the total state, local and federal FEFP funds per district and charter school:

o Provide that the fund may be used to implement the provisions of the bill, including the development and acquisition of end-of-course exams, development of an appraisal system, and development and implementation of salary schedules that include teacher performance and differential pay;

o Prohibit the use of funds to increase the salary of a person rated on a performance appraisal as unsatisfactory or in need of improvement;

o Require districts and charter schools to set aside sufficient federal grant funds to pay individuals who are paid from federal funds;

o Provide that any funds remaining after a district or charter school has met its requirements may be used for current operations, but unexpended funds revert at the end of the state fiscal year;

o Provide that salary increases from the performance fund are in addition to other salary increases;

o Provide that districts and charter schools that fail to comply with the requirements will have funds withheld from the state FEFP distribution;

• Provide that salary adjustments and increases for instructional personnel and school-based administrators must be based on their performance evaluation;

• Remove the requirement that more than 50 percent of pay must be based on student performance (more than 50 percent of the employee’s performance appraisal must be based on student performance); and

• For school districts that receive a grant of $75 million or more from a private foundation to improve teacher effectiveness, provides a time-limited exception to the requirements for end-of-course assessments, contracts, the performance fund, and performance pay and appraisals (this accommodates Hillsborough County and its grant from the Gates Foundation).

This information was taken from the Senate Policy and Steering Committee on Ways and Means staff analysis of CS/CS for SB 6, passed by the Committee on Friday, March 19th.

SB 6 is headed to the Senate floor today, March 23, for the second reading.  I'm told that the likely result of the second hearing on the senate floor will be that the bill will roll over, be attached to a house bill and sent to the House of Representatives for their consideration/deliberation.  Although no specific companion bill exists yet in the House, SB 6 will likely be attached to House Bill 7037.  The next part of the process involves negotiations between the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate.
After the House considers the bill, SB 6 could be back on the Senate floor as early as this Thursday, March 25--at which time it may be ultimately voted on and passed.
Although divisive, this bill will revolutionize education in the state of Florida if it is passed. The education community accross the nation will be watching this very closely, as this could be a ground-breaking, historic moment. 

The sense that I get from many is that this bill is being pushed through and will ultimately pass because it puts Florida in an even better position to be one of the first recipients of  a piece of President Barack Obama's $4.35 Billion Race to The Top (RTTT) Grant.  Many of this landmark bill's provisions are directly aligned with the vision of  RTTT.
Florida is on the cutting edge of education reform, and it is exciting!


Anonymous said...

You know, It will be nice when this bill passes. Because when all the good teachers leave Florida for the surrounding states your kids will be stuck with fresh out of college 20 year olds who don't know any thing about teaching because Florida doesn't even require an education degree. Let's hope that most of these new, unqualified teachers end up teaching your kids so that they will grow up with a sub-par education and will not be smart enough hold a public office due to their's and your stupidity.

Jeff Bergosh said...


Why the venom? This bill has not even passed, (yet), and you are already going negative wishing bad things on children. WOW-hope you're not a teacher! Understand this one thing--the anger and resentment you feel about this bill, largely a partisan, Republican law--Is how most of the country feels about what Democrats (like you) did up in Washington with Health Care! Partisan politics cuts two directions and you are not always on the winning end.

Anonymous said...

So, you are justifying the destruction in the quality of children's education because you don't like the health care reform bill? It's people like you, on both sides of the isle, that are what is wrong with USA government. I appose your view point, make it hit home, and the only thing you can do is grasp at straws trying to label me a "partisan democrat" as if the only people who could oppose such idiocy would be "one of those darn blues".

How about you Jeff? Will you go from being a salary employee to having 50% or more of your salary dependent on your "performance". Of course you'll say something to the tune of "the law doesn't require me to have such standards", and you're right it doesn't require you. But just because the law doesn't require you, doesn't mean you can't take 50% of your salary and have it subject to review based on merit. You could give the rest that you don't deserve to charity.

I challenge you to take the same standards and assessments that are going to be placed on teachers and apply them to your-self.

Understand this one thing--until you practice what you preach your opinions on the issue hold as much water as a colander.

ACR4NOLIBS said...

Mr. Anonymous, based on your comments, no one needs to label you as anything. You pretty much spell it out in your hateful diatribe. youre a class a liberal. Try working in the real world without "tenure" and having to actually perform, or not bring home a check. That is the reality of life, at least for non union folks. I love reading all the posts stating how it would be a good idea for Jeff to give up half his salary. I live that every day as a business owner. You should try it sometime. The harder hou work...the more successful you are...the more you make. Not really a hard concept to grasp, unless you are from the entitlement mentality crowd, where you believe you should be treated fairly just for showing up. I believe you libs like to call it "social justice". I call it spreading the misery around. Keep in mind, "people like you" created this mess with the DOE, thus promoting "the destruction in the quality of children's education". You stated "I challenge you to take the same standards and assessments that are going to be placed on teachers and apply them to your-self." If only your partisan hacks in DC. would have taken the same approach with healthcare, we wouldn't have a new entitlement that is sure to destroy... well you get the picture. Really, they voted not to accept the same care they are forcing on the rest of us just last night. Gotta go. My collander just overflowed.

Jeff Bergosh said...


Thanks for the posts, I appreciate your perspective. I also agree with you, but we're surrounded and outnumbered on this subject in this forum. The only point I'll keep making is that Senate Bill 6 was spawned by Florida's commitment to compete for Democrat Barack Obama's Race To The Top. I keep reading the posts about how things are so perfect and we're just going to mess everything up with this new law, the sky is falling--but that begs one question. What in the heck is going on with education throughout our nation for the sitting, very liberal, very democrat president to adopt essentially the conservative, republican strategy on education reform? That question has to be answered by anyone who thinks this is all a terrible plot by evil Republicans to ruin education in Florida. We're just dancing to the tune the democrats are fiddling in Washington D.C.--and we're going to win a big pot of money for it, and we're going to improve outcomes for our students-that's what I think!

ACR4NOLIBS said...

Jeff, I agree that "Senate Bill 6 was spawned by Florida's commitment to compete for Democrat Barack Obama's Race To The Top", and that as you so eloquently put it, "we're just dancing to the tune the democrats are fiddling in Washington D.C.--and we're going to win a big pot of money for it". However, I respectfully disagree that what we are doing is the conservative approach to education reform. I think we are just simply trying to make the best of the current bad situation we are faced with. I think that if we want real education reform in this State, and this Country for that matter, we need to return to the days when education was run at the local level. We only need to look at history to see that since the days of LBJ and Jimmy Carter, our education system has been in a state of decline. Less than 10% of funding for Florida schools comes from the Federal Govt. Why then are we like kids at a birthday party standing under a piƱata waiting for our "fair share" of Federal goodies? The US constitution, makes absolutely NO mention of education. It is a States issue. Better yet it is a local issue. When we begin tor realize that, that is when we will start to see real reform. Here's another fact… almost 50% of Public School staff consists of non-teaching and administrative personnel. Really? …What?...WOW. There is an awful lot of bureaucracy, that could be eliminated. Maybe instead of begging for more Federal dollars, then wasting it on more bureaucracy, and teaching to a test, (which I am no fan of, although I do believe kids should have to pass basic proficiency tests before advancing to the next grade level) we could actually increase performing teacher's salaries, place more money into school choice so that schools can compete for our tax dollars, and focus on teaching our kids useful things, like American history, reading, and the Constitution. (I know that is a bad word these days)

Anonymous said...

"You should try it sometime. The harder you work...the more successful you are...the more you make"

What happens when all the resources run out human?

When I say resources.. I mean food resources.. No more human energy..

I know this is off topic.. but I like scenarios.. >:)

ACR4NOLIBS said...

Anonymous March 27, 2010 1:48 PM said:
"You should try it sometime. The harder you work...the more successful you are...the more you make"

What happens when all the resources run out human?

When I say resources.. I mean food resources.. No more human energy..

I know this is off topic.. but I like scenarios.. >:)

I said:


ACR4NOLIBS said...

Anyone interested in common sense ideas and real solutions should check out the following link.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jeff for your pointless idiocy. I've used your posts about to display to office coworkers about how fundamentalists to either side of the political spectrum spew nothing but drivel.

Looks like the people spoke, again, and this bill didn't pass. Maybe that tells you that perhaps your ideals are not those of the many ;)

Jeff Bergosh said...

Anonymous--get ready....Barack Obama is the Force behind Senate Bill 6. Obama = SB6. I know you probably hate that but that is what this is. Federal Money + Obama and Duncan + Florida Legislature looking for $$$ = SB6. Look at Colorado Bill 191 And Georgia Bill 521-very similar to Senate Bill 6. States are scrambling around the country to enact reforms at the behest of the DEMOCRAT in the White House and his RTTT. Senate Bill 6 was essentially a lift of the ideas Obama and Arne Duncan are espousing. Did the legislature push too far to the right? I'd have to say a definite YES. SB6 is a shining example of the pendalum swinging too far to the right and how not to get something enacted (kind of like how DEMOCRATS at the national level ramrodded Health Care through--over the loud objections of a majority of Americans and all Republicans--but that's okay, right anonymous?).

But I believe that a new rendition of SB6 will be put forward this year in the Florida Legislature, hopefully with more broad stakeholder input, and eventually we will see more reform in this state. You probably think reform is bad, too. You are probably one that just thinks we need more $$, right?

I think you are ignorant and have no possession of facts and your opinion means nothing to me.

Have a day