Florida's Gov. Crist vetoes Florida teacher pay bill

After weeks of protest and a deluge of messages, Gov. Charlie Crist on Thursday vetoed a bill that would link teacher pay to student test scores and wipe out tenure for new teachers.

``I know in my heart it's the right thing to do,'' Crist said of his veto.

His decision, announced shortly after noon Thursday, came as little surprise. Although Crist initially voiced support for the bill, he had distanced himself over the past week as protests mounted.

``I say we must start over,'' the governor said. ``This bill has negatively affected the morale of our parents, teachers and students.''

With just a little over two weeks left in the session, many educators and politicians have expressed doubt the Legislature can rewrite the bill and get it passed.

The Florida Senate passed the bill 21-17; it got through the House of Representatives by a 64-55 vote. The bill had strong support among Republican Party leadership, but some in the GOP joined Democrats in opposition.

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