TALLAHASSEE, Fla., March 25 (UPI) -- Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said he approved of the Senate's passing an education bill making it easier to fire teachers and tying pay increases to test scores.
The controversial "teacher tenure" bill Wednesday passed narrowly in the Senate, 21-17, in Tallahassee, the St. Petersburg Times reported.
Crist's approval and the Senate's early focus on education mean the bill, which still must move through the state's House, will probably become law, Speaker-designate Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, said.
"This is a bill that really focuses on trying to help children and encouraging better teachers. It pays better teachers more, and that just seems like the right thing to do to me," said Crist.
No Democrats voted for the tenure measure, the Times said.
Sen. Paula Dockery of Lakeland, a gubernatorial candidate, and two other Republicans voted against the tenure bill, saying it "disrespects all Florida teachers."
"The idea that teachers are solely responsible for a child's performance goes against everything we know about what makes children successful," Dockery said.