Teachers union rallies to demand district changes

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Members of the Orange County teacher's union rallied Tuesday afternoon to demand changes within the school district.

The group is rallying over the plan that links teacher pay with student performance. They're also speaking out about a prosposal to spend district money on teachers from the organization Teach For America.

"It's called awake the county," union president Diana Moore told WFTV.

Moore said performance-based pay has lowered teacher morale and caused many to leave their jobs.

"Most of the teachers, about 70 percent, are evaluated on students that they never see," Moore said.

The union said the starting teacher salary of $37,000 hasn't increased since 2007. Moore believes that it's leading to a revolving door of teachers quitting.

"I got an email today somebody walked out of the school and left so upset," Moore said.

Moore claims 2,300 Orange County teachers have resigned in two years. But a school district spokeswoman said that number is incorrect and put the turnover at just above 1,300 teachers in two years.

The union is circulating emails reminding its members which school board members are up for re-election in 2014. A rally organized by the union was held at 4 p.m. Tuesday at school district headquarters.

The school district sent a statement to WFTV regarding the teacher resignations:

"We are extremely disappointed that CTA president Ms. Diana Moore promotes erroneous information regarding districtwide teacher resignations. We have clarified this information more than once."