Senate Bill 6 passed 21-17 Wednesday morning, with all 13 Democrats and four Republicans voting against it.
The proposal ties a teacher's pay directly to student learning gains, rather than experience. It also replaces teacher tenure with yearly contracts.
Legislators say the changes are necessary if the state wants to receive money from the federal education grant competition called "Race to the Top."
Supporters say it will make it easier to reward good teachers and fire bad ones; but, local union reps say the plan destroys creativity in teaching.
"Children aren't widgets. You don't get one-size fits all into every hole. We have to mold kids, we have to take what we have, and build on what we have," said Yvette Griffin, executive director of Miracle Strip Service Unit. "If their intent was to run good, energetic, enthusiastic teachers out of the state of Florida, they're on a direct path to doing that. "
Bay District Schools Superintendent Bill Husfelt told us he thinks portions of the legislation are unfair to teachers. The bill is expected to pass the Florida House.