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Citing Discrimination, Teachers Sue Florida Over Bonus Program

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The Florida Education Association and seven teachers are suing their state and all 67 public school boards, charging that a performance-based teacher-bonus program discriminates against black and Hispanic teachers and those older than 40.

The program, which started in 2015, is meant to reward Florida teachers who are rated "highly effective" on their evaluations. But state legislators mandated that teachers who applied for the bonus also had to submit their own SAT or ACT scores—some dating back decades—which need to be in the 80th percentile or higher.

The federal complaint, which was filed last month, contends that the program excludes teachers who took the college-entrance exams before 1972, because they were not ranked by percentile then. Only 44 percent of teachers who received a bonus in 2015-16 were 40 or older, although 64 percent of "highly effective" teachers were in that age group, the complaint says.

Vol. 37, Issue 07, Page 4

Published in Print: October 4, 2017, as Citing Discrimination, Teachers Sue Florida Over Bonus Program
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