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House and Senate release details of plan to give raises to teachers

The House and Senate have firmed up the details of the closely watched teacher pay raises.

Under the compromise language, the salary increases will go to more than just classroom teachers. "School district and charter school classroom teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, psychologists, librarians, principals and assistant principals" will all be eligible.

The raises must be at least $2,500 for employees evaulated as "effective" and up to $3,500 for employees evaluated as "highly effective." School systems will have the freedom to develop their own plans for evaluating teacher performance based on student achievement. But educators will have to be evaluated based only on students they teach.

The money will be distributed in June 2014.

Gov. Rick Scott, who has been pushing for $2,500 across-the-board pay raises, hailed the deal as a success late Sunday.

In a press release, Scott said he and Florida Education Association President Andy Ford "applauded the House and the Senate’s agreement."

"The language accompanying the funding allows districts the flexibility to develop their own performance plans to award the greatest number of teachers the largest teacher pay raise possible, in coordination with their collective bargaining agreements," Scott wrote. "The $480 million in funding provides enough to give every teacher a minimum of a $2,000 pay raise, while also giving districts the ability to provide teacher raises of $2,500 or even $3,500 -– depending on the plan each of the 67 school districts (plus lab and charter schools) develop."

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