FEA Says State's Performance Pay Rules Are Invalid

The Florida Education Association is challenging state guidelines for developing local teacher performance pay plans.

Officials of the statewide teachers’ union contend the Florida Department of Education has cut teachers out of the guideline writing process for the new program dubbed Special Teachers Are Rewarded, or STAR.

The challenge is aimed at invalidating several interpretations of the plan that the department has made.

Union president Andy Ford says his group doesn't oppose the concept of performance pay, a form of merit pay that gives more money to those teachers deemed to be doing a better job than their peers. But it's premature, he says, until all Florida teachers can be paid a salary at or above the national average.

The union filed its petition with the state Division of Administrative Hearings. An administrative law judge will consider the issue later this year.