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Rob Bradley files ‘Best and Brightest’ repeal

SB 440 would fully remove the sections of Florida law defining the program.

Senate Appropriations Chair Rob Bradley filed a bill Friday that would repeal the teacher bonus program known as “Best and Brightest.”

The bill, SB 440, would fully remove the sections of Florida law defining the program and strike it out of other sections governing education funding.

Teacher compensation is expected to be a major focus in the 2020 Legislative Session, which starts in January.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is preparing a teacher compensation plan, and has publicly signaled the “Best and Brightest” program may not be included — at least not in its current form.

The repeal bill comes after teachers filed a lawsuit against the Florida Department of Education alleging the bonus program was discriminatory toward black and Hispanic teachers.

Part of the bonus program’s formula includes teacher’s scores on standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT. Lawyers representing teachers in the class-action suit argued that using those scores disproportionately affected black and Hispanic teachers.

The state has agreed to pay $15.5 million to settle the suit.

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