Bay County's State Legislative Delegation Holds Public Hearing

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PANAMA CITY-- If you've ever wanted to speak to your state lawmaker about what's really on your mind, Thursday night was your chance.

State senators and house members held a public hearing at the Bay County Government Building.

Members of the Bay County Legislative Delegation spent 2.5 hours hearing from locals about what they want state representatives to get done this year. The main topic tonight? Education.

Teachers and principals did not seem pleased with the FSA Florida Standards Assessment.

"The testing is off the chain crazy," said Mosley Principal Sandy Harrison.

Teacher pay and evaluation are based on how students perform on this test.

"I just think we're hurting teachers so that they don't want to teach," said one Bay County teacher. "So you're going to have less and less coming, and you're hurting the students in the end."

"Because of this rating, I'm now required to complete additional paperwork when I could be directing my energy toward the creation of the lesson plans that have made my previous students earn higher test scores," said Bay High teacher Nathalie Hall.

"And I please, please, please ask you to think about the ramifications of the laws that you all pass in the regards to education," said another Bay County teacher.

"I would just ask that when you sit down and do legislation, that you take into consideration all the stresses that these teachers are under," said Rutherford Principal L. Coy Pilson.

Senator Don Gaetz said the new tests may eventually end up before the courts.

"We're going to try to make sure that the people who are responsible know about the things that we heard about tonight, and can hopefully take action," said Gaetz.