During the spring of 2010, a debate over merit pay and tenure for teachers swept across Florida. While this was not a new debate, the introduction of Senate Bill 6 by the Republican led-legislature fanned the flames of discord between teachers and the state. Calling for a merit-based system of pay and teacher retention through standardized testing, as well as diminishing local school board autonomy, the bill directly conflicted with educators' demands for professional respect in a continuously besieged occupation. In passing the bill, the Legislature created an atmosphere of resistance among Florida's teachers who flooded the Governor's office with nearly sixty-five thousand emails, letters, and phone calls.1 Protests took place in Tallahassee and across the state, as teachers, their union, the Florida Education Association (FEA), and parents demanded that Governor Charlie Crist veto the bill and voice his full support for Florida's teachers.2 Even with the outpouring of dissent, the veto at first was viewed as a longshot, especially considering Crist's run as the Republican candidate in the upcoming United States senatorial election. The bill saw widespread backing among Florida's conservatives, and any veto would be viewed as a betrayal of Florida's conservative values in regards to education.3
Noll, Jody Baxter
""We are Not Hired Help": The 1968 Statewide Florida Teacher Strike and the Formation of Modern Florida,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 95:
3, Article 5.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol95/iss3/5