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Florida teachers leaving in record numbers. From the St. Augustine Recordby Marcia Lane. Numbers are up for retirements, resignations and non- reappointments in the St. Johns County School District. Also on the rise are the number of employees entering DROP, the state's Deferred Retirement Option Program. The bottom line, it appears that more teachers are jumping ship.
Why they are leaving is the elephant in the room. The increases come following a turbulent year for education in Florida that included doing away with teacher tenure, offering merit pay and using the results of students' FCAT tests as a major means of measuring teachers. We are seeing this trend across the entire state. Johns Education Association. She says teachers who can get into the DROP program are taking advantage of the opportunity. Under the DROP program, employees continue to work but stop earning credit toward their pension.
They then are paid their pension, which is set aside and given to them in a lump payment when they retire. Johns County, the number of employees signing up for DROP were up 5. Big personal decisions'Repeatedly under the 2. Legislative session, Debby Etheredge, outgoing president of the St. Johns Education Association, talked of how teachers felt as if they were under attack. That's going to hurt local people who want to transfer from, say Clay or Putnam, to St. One college student wrote Superintendent Joe Joyner saying his professors were advising against coming to the state.
Because some of the Legislature's plans didn't happen, the picture isn't as black as it could have been for district employees, Springfield said. Among those failed plans was a push to do away with the state's Deferred Retirement Option Program.
However, the interest rate paid on the DROP accounts will go from 6. July 1 of this year. St. Johns County doesn't expect to see a drop in applicants.
Johns County, 1,2. For middle schools, 6. For high school, the number is 6. When it comes to the loss of tenure, Springfield's not certain that's the sort of issue that is top most in a new college graduate's mind. In St. Johns County schools, the number of retirees is up 1. Where 2. 8 teachers retired in 2.
While the numbers fluctuate, 6. Also increasing is the number of non- reappointments, in most cases non- tenured teachers who principals decided not to rehire.
Those numbers are up a little more than 5. Cathy Geiger, director for instructional personnel, said there are three reasons for non- reappointments - non- performance, not completed certification and . Class size changes and staffing formulas are what principals must look at when deciding how many teachers to hire. No one wants to hire too many and then have to let teachers go. The Florida Education Association and other labor organizations on Monday sued Gov. Rick Scott to overturn the new 3 percent payroll contribution plan. Previously the districts paid the retirement portion.
Some legislators and Gov. Rick Scott wanted to see a 5 percent payroll contribution, but settled for 3 percent. More than 6. 55,0. Another lawsuit is expected that challenges the merit pay plan.