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Crist to meet with tenure bill backers

Anyone who looks at Gov. Charlie Crist's schedule Wednesday afternoon might think he has some education issues on the brain.

He has until Friday to make a decision on a controversial bill that ties teacher pay to student test scores and eliminates tenure for new hires. He said Tuesday he still hadn't made up his mind about the bill; if he can't make it up by the Friday deadline, the bill would become law without his signature.

Crist has already heard from tens of thousands of Floridians, including his own family and complete strangers who approach him in restaurants.

He's set to hear more on Wednesday. Tucked between back-to-back sessions with staffers, press conferences and events, Crist has meetings scheduled with State Board of Education member Roberto Martinez; Leon County Superintendent Jackie Pons and Florida Education Commissioner Eric Smith.

Pons has already sent a letter to Crist asking for a veto. But Martinez, of Coral Gables, and Smith have both spoken in favor of the bill. Martinez even told the St. Petersburg Times last week that he had "no indication" that the governor would veto the bill.

Wonder what he'll say after Wednesday's meeting?

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