Just days after hammering out an agreement that would avoid teacher layoffs in Miami-Dade, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho has announced the implementation of the first performance-based pay plan for teachers in the state. Carvalho claims that some teachers could earn more than $100,000 a year, and the plan will be funded by federal grants won in the Race to the Top program. The start of the program comes three years before such programs will become mandatory across the entire state.
"In the midst of our national economic crisis, as school districts across the country are laying off teachers, Miami-Dade County will be the first school district in the state to reward teachers for their performance," said Carvalho in a statement.
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The plan was agreed to by United Teachers of Dade President Karen Aronowitz.
The previous agreement to keep teacher's jobs safe came with caveat that teachers would not receive their annual raise during the next school year. The school board still has to cut $108 million from next year's budget, though has promised not to make cuts to art, music, world languages, or physical education.
Payment plans based on merit though are not with out controversy. Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a bill in March that would require all Florida school boards to institute merit pay for teachers by 2014. The bill ends tenure for teachers, and ties merit pay to student's standardizes test results.