Fla. Teacher Raise Lawsuit Tossed Out

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A circuit judge has tossed out a lawsuit challenging a law requiring merit pay for teachers and ending tenure for new hires.

Judge John C. Cooper on Thursday ruled in favor of the state and dismissed the case. A similar suit was filed in federal court in Gainesville.

Cooper found the law "facially constitutional and constitutes a lawful delegation of legislative authority."

The Florida Education Association brought the suit on behalf of six Florida teachers. The suit claimed the Legislature violated a state constitutional right to collective bargaining by dictating the terms of contracts between school boards and local unions.

That includes a teacher evaluation system that is based half on student growth as measured by standardized exams. Those evaluations are then used to set performance-based salary schedules.

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