Gov. Crist vetos bill tying teacher pay to student tests

TALLAHASSEE – Responding to tens of thousands of e-mails, phone calls and letters from constituents opposing Senate Bill 6, Gov. Charlie Crist Thursday vetoed the measure which would have tied teachers’ pay to student test scores. “It has nothing to do with politics at all, and everything to do with the children of Florida,” Crist said in announcing the veto. According to the National Education Association Web Site, 90 percent of those who contacted Crist’s office were opposed to the controversial bill. The veto is sure to put the governor at odds with his own Republican Party that supported the bill, which also would have ended tenure for teachers. “To proponents of a bill, a Governor’s veto may be mischaracterized as ill informed or political,” Gov. Crist said in a letter to Secretary of State Kurt Browning explaining his veto. “It is likely my action today will be met with similiar charges from supporters of SB 6. However, there is only one person who can accurately state the reson for a veto — the one who holds the pen.” “Let me be clear; I veto SB 6 because the bill is contrary to my firmly held principle to acdt in the best interest of the apeople of Florida. I am confident in my decision today because I know it is the right thing to do for the People.” Crist also said he thought the legislation did not “appropriately accommodate special education students and their dedicated teachers.” Republican state Sen. John Thrasher, who sponsored Senate Bill 6, said in a statement: “It goes without saying that I am disappointed this legislation has been vetoed by Governor Crist, and I continue to think that one day it will be fully implemented in our state.”

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