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  • Incumbents behold redrawn districts
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  • Actor joins in rally criticizing Florida's GOP
  • House measure would slash pay for school boards
  • Bill pulls $5-million from conservation fund
  • Reno takes campaign tour to Washington for fundraiser
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  • From the state wire

  • Hurricane Jeanne appears on track to hit Florida's east coast
  • Rumor mill working overtime after Florida hurricanes
  • Developments associated with Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne
  • Four killed in Panhandle plane crash were on Ivan charity mission
  • Hurricane Frances caused estimated $4.4 billion in insured damage
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  • USF forces administrators to resign over test score changes
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  • Hurricane Jeanne heads toward southeast U.S. coast
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  • Mistrial declared in case where teen was target of racial "joke"
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  • Homestead house fire kills four children, one adult
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  • Florida's high court rules Terri's law unconstitutional
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  • FEMA handling nearly 600,000 applications for help
  • Man who killed wife, niece, self also killed mother in 1971
  • Producer sues city over lead ball fired by Miami police
  • Tourism suffers across Florida after pummeling by hurricanes
  • Key dates in the life of Terri Schiavo
  • An excerpt from the unanimous ruling in the Schiavo case
  • Four confirmed dead after small plane crash in Panhandle
  • Correction: Disney-Cruise Line story

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    House measure would slash pay for school boards

    The measure, part of the ''must-pass'' education bill, would reimburse expenses but make the jobs volunteer.

    By ALISA ULFERTS, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published March 7, 2002

    TALLAHASSEE -- Local school board members would lose their paychecks if the Legislature passes a mammoth bill to overhaul the state's education laws.

    The key provision -- which would reimburse board members for expenses but would eliminate their salaries -- was tagged Wednesday onto a 1,700-page, "must pass" bill state officials have been working on for months to make education laws easier to understand.

    The move outraged school board lobbyists but was defended by House Speaker Tom Feeney and Rep. Jerry Melvin, the Fort Walton Beach Republican who oversees the top House education committee.

    "Sadly, if you pay an attractive salary for a part time job, sometimes you get (qualified) people and sometimes you get people who are not as prepared," Feeney said. Yet the state has had great success in attracting qualified people to serve on state university boards, even though those positions are unpaid, Feeney said.

    If not paying a board member attracts better candidates, Hernando School Board member Jim Malcolm said he thinks the same logic should apply to legislators.

    "I'd be happy to comply with the amendment if the House members likewise would commit themselves to being volunteers," Malcolm said.

    "Perhaps we'd get a better product," Malcolm said, adding that he suspected the amendment was payback for school boards' vocal opposition to the House's proposed education spending plan.

    School board members' salaries are based on a state pay formula for elected officials and in many average sized counties range from about $25,000 to just less than $30,000. The House sets its own members' salary, with the approval of the Senate and the governor. The salary now is $28,608.

    The amendment still would have to pass the Senate, which some observers say isn't likely considering friction between the House and Senate.

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