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Orange Schools one of 15 Florida school districts without teacher pay raises

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As school districts across Florida reach agreements with teacher's unions on pay increases, one major public school district is having trouble reaching a settle with it's teacher's union.

According to the Orlando Sentinel on Dec 16, Orange County Public Schools is one of 15 public school districts that has not reached a settlement agreement on how to divvy up money that was earmarked by the Florida Legislature for teacher raises.

According to the Sentinel, OCPS and it's union remain at an impasse after negotiations between the two fell apart after months of negotiations. One of the main sticking points is OCPS proposal to tie pay increases to job performance, as state lawmakers have suggested. The Orange Classroom Teachers Association, the teacher's union representing Orange County teachers, has objected that provision.

A hearing officer is scheduled to listen to arguments from both sides later in the week in a process that could help determine pay increases for 13,000 Orange County teachers.

According to the Florida Educational Negotiators, most of the school districts that has reached a settlement with unions are across-the board pay hikes that has no ties to job performance. Florida legislators allocated $480 million for teacher pay raises after Gov. Rick Scott campaigned for the increases.

Scott has urged school districts across the state to work out pay plans with it's unions.

The latest school district to reach an agreement with unions was Palm Beach County. That leaves Orange County as the largest school district in the state without an agreement on teacher pay hikes.

Stay tuned.

For more updates on what's going on in Central Florida and other political news and commentary from this author, click Subscribe or follow Kareem on Twitter, like him on Facebook, or email him your comments or questions.

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