By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog
ST. PETERSBURG — Not stymied by the efforts of national and state teacher unions, Florida Gov. Rick Scott is picking up on last year’s significant changes to merit-pay for educators.
The governor is making the rounds on a listening tour this week, aimed at introducing more wide-scale reforms in schools across the state.
The tour will last a week and seek reform ideasfrom teachers, parents and students, according to a release by the governor’s office.
The former health care executive-turned-politician has been the subject of harsh criticism during his two-year tenure as governor, specifically tied to his plan to initially cut nearly $700 million in school funding in 2011 and the mandatory pension contributions for public sector employees, estimated to save the state nearly $3 billion over two years.
The stern opposition from public sector unions gathered enough momentum tochallenge the pension contribution law all the way until the Florida Supreme Court, which is expected to rule on the matter this fall.
This year, Scott aimed to renew his gubernatorial pledge to provide the “right learning environment for each student, not the bureaucracy,” successfully allocating more than $1 billion to education, along with several merit-pay provisions that reward teachers based on student performance — another initiative that has drawn the ire of union groups.
Read more: Florida Watchdog