Florida Senate Bill 6



Florida Senate Bill 6


I am writing to you because we teachers need your help. Our Senate is in the process of passing the Senate Bill 6 which will require more testing for students (end of course for all subjects) and for teachers (certification and re-certification).

The Bill will have a salary schedule, as established by the FLDOE, basing more than 50 percent of teacher's compensation on student learning gains. This will make it more difficult to recruit and retain teachers for schools or programs where students struggle.

The bill will make every teacher out there feel they are terrible teachers if they choose to work in areas of special education where some students may be working two to three years behind their grade level. I am one of those teachers. I have been a Hospital/Homebound teacher for 11 years and while I have administered the FCAT test to many "happy normal" kids, I have also administered it to Children going through chemotherapy, recovering from heart transplants, recovering from a traumatic brain injury, etc. This year I gave the FCAT to a student that was on a oxycontin as he was recovering from a seven hour back surgery/spine fusion.

It will require that all teachers will be retained, certified and compensated based on student test scores not years of experience, degrees held, or the category of students they teach. Knowledge and experience would no longer count.

I feel that this is something that is not going to bring education together, but rather divide. We are already working hard to help our students make gains. There are many teachers that teach in low income schools and unfortunately the majority of their students only get educated when they are at school and there is no support at home.

We are asking that you help the State of Florida and stop our Legislatures from passing this bill. This bill is on a fast track to be passed. Democrats in the Senate are opposed. I am Republican and am appalled that anyone would want to do this to the teaching profession. The sponsor of SB 6 says it will rid our schools of incompetent teachers, the ones who under perform. But that's not what it does. Senate Bill 6 doesn't distinguish between sub par teachers and highly effective teachers. It unfairly targets every teacher in Florida.

If you want to continue to improve student learning and increase graduation rates you should be introducing and supporting bills that provide teachers with the tools and the resources they need to help our students be successful.

I love teaching, and I love making a difference in my students' lives and achievements.

SB 6 is a slap in the face to all of the outstanding teachers across Florida who have dedicated their lives to the teaching profession and have produced learning gains that are the envy of the nation.

There has to be a better way.