Published: Apr 12, 2010 5:35 PM EDT

MIAMI, Fla. - A quarter of teachers at Miami-Dade County Public Schools are absent from classes, an apparent protest of a proposed law that would make it easier to fire them.

John Schuster, a spokesman for the district, says the picture Monday is spotty. Teachers showed up as usual at some schools, but others had more absent than in attendance.

At Charles Hadley Elementary School, for example, 48 of 80 educators did not show up. Schuster says the district is using substitutes to keep the schools open.

District officials prepared themselves after rumors began circulating that teachers planned to call in sick or take a vacation day to protest a bill the Legislature passed last week. It would abolish tenure for new teachers and establish a merit pay system for teachers and administrators.

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