Public school teachers won their fight against merit pay with Gov. Crist's veto of the measure. But reactions vary, and the battle may be renewed next winter.
"The teachers are ecstatic, word is spreading and we are just thrilled," said Mark Castellano, Pres. of the Lee Teacher's association. "We lobbied hard, we are feeling great that this is gone for now. The governor heard our message," he added.
However, Rick Klemeks of Ft. Myers is disappointed in the veto. "The teachers need performance standards. If I work in a factory, and don't produce enough, my pay gets cut. There has to a level playing field to measure the performance of the teachers, to see how they are doing," Klemeks told WINK News.
However, teacher Jack Edmunds of Cape Coral says: "This bill penalized children. That is not right. It politicized kids. That is not right. There is accountability for teachers. This talk about us having tenure and being protected was not correct. Bad teachers are weeded out. But we need to fund education properly and have the politicians just butt out," Edmunds said.
Some teachers from Mariner Middle School in the cape held up signs Thurs. afternoon, after school. The signs read: "Thank you Gov. Crist", and "Crist nixed Senate Bill six."