It looks like the question I asked the other day—whether unions will agree to sign off on state Race to the Top plans—is a resounding “no,” at least for the Sunshine State, says this Associated Press story.
The AP story talks a lot about the performance-pay elements of Florida’s plan, and certainly the state has had its fair share of problems with performance pay. But let’s not forget that this isn’t just about performance pay. Student achievement must be factored into teacher evaluations as well. The union also seems to have problems with the school-turnaround language.
Having the union backing isn’t an absolute requirement for the state to receive Race to the Top funding, but it will be weighed as part of the application. The state’s aggressive MOU agreement also says that districts and unions that don’t bargain the relevant sections of the state plan will forfeit their grants.
But what will happen if few or no district agrees to sign off on the MOU or bargain the plans? Could a state get Race to the Top dollars and have no districts on which to spend it?
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.