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Court denies rehearing of teacher merit pay case

TALLAHASSEE--A Tallahassee judge denied a request by the statewide teachers' union to reconsider his decision to throw out a lawsuit trying to strike down the controversial merit pay law that passed two years ago.

The Florida Education Association had asked Circuit Court Judge John Cooper to take another look at the case, which argued that teacher's rights had been violated because they were being graded on students or subjects that they didn't teach.

Lynn Hearn, a lawyer for the FEA, argued that the state Board of Education and Department of Education, were taking over the rules of policy makers and were creating law, rather than simply implementing it.

"There's no guidepost for the state board to follow [in setting the grading standards]," she argued.

Cooper denied the rehearing, but noted he expected the case to continue in the appeals courts.

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