South Florida teachers learn they must work extra hour

Florida requiring teachers at 100 lowest performing elementary schools in reading on FCAT to teach an extra hour

MIAMI - Some South Florida teachers will be spending an extra hour teaching without being paid, according to their union.

In March, Florida lawmakers passed a bill requiring teachers at the 100 lowest performing elementary schools in reading on the FCAT to spend an extra hour giving reading instruction beyond the normal school day, said Jamie Mongiovi with the Florida Department of Education. The United Teachers of Dade said the bill was an unfunded mandate imposed by Governor Rick Scott.

READ: List of lowest performing schools

On Thursday, Miami-Dade teachers working at those schools learned they'd be working an extra hour. Pay for the additional hour has not been negotiated. The United Teachers of Dade told Local 10 that Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho would fund the extra hour from the current budget without additional money from the state. Of the 100, 11 schools are in Miami-Dade County, 10 of which are public schools.

Many teachers are against the idea because the scores are in question.

"The state has played so many games with scoring that we have no confidence in scores generated," said Karen Aronowitz with United Teachers of Dade. "The bottom line is, they're asking the teachers to pay for this... We do not know how much they will be paid for the extra hour of work."

Broward County Schools said the extra hour will be funded. There are 10 schools in Broward County on the list.

The state has said it allocated $30 million to pay for the extra hour and that it has worked in other states. Out of the $30 million earmarked to fund this new state law, the state is giving Miami-Dade $3 million. School district and union officials will negotiate to see exactly how much more the teachers in these 11 schools will be paid for an additional hour of work.

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