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Teachers flood Legislature in opposition to tenure bill

TALLAHASSEE — Teachers, parents and even some students are flooding the Legislature with e-mails and phone calls. They're protesting outside lawmakers' offices and organizing a rally today at the Capitol.

Their chief target: legislation that would make it easier to fire teachers and base part of their salaries on test scores.

"We just couldn't sit at home and do nothing while our profession is being attacked," said Carole Robinson, a biology teacher at Dunedin High School who is driving up for today's rally in Tallahassee. "There is just no collaboration going on. We were shut out of the process."

Teachers are focusing their energy on House members and Gov. Charlie Crist, who they see as their last line of defense on SB 6, which has passed the Senate and is pending in the House. Crist's office received 700 calls on the issue last week. House lawmakers have received hundreds of thousands of e-mails and thousands of phone calls, according to Speaker Larry Cretul's office.

Much of the effort is spurred by the Florida Education Association, the state's main teachers union. Spokesman Mark Pudlow said the union is explaining the bill's provisions to teachers and that "needless to say, they're not very happy about it."

Read more here.

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