In protest, teachers skipping their own homework

- Teachers in Hillsborough County are sending a strong message after not getting the raises they were promised.

Takela Smith is a teacher at Riverview High School and says when she wraps up her day, it's not uncommon for her to have homework -- lesson planning and grading papers.

"These are the things we are doing off of the clock, for free," she said.

For this week, the work teachers do outside of the classroom will stop as part of a protest called 'Work the Contract.'  They say they are protesting the Hillsborough School Board's decision to backtrack on a promise of a $4,000 pay raise for one-third of teachers in the county.

The average teacher makes just below $50,000 a year and Smith says, with insurance premiums, on the rise she counted on the money.

"It's like running a marathon and someone moves the finish line,” she complained.

'Work the Contract' started as Gov. Rick Scott made a visit to Tampa calling for an additional $200 per student to be added to the budget, but the union wasted no time slamming him and his support for private charter schools.

"[Gov. Scott] has not been a friend to public education historically,” said Paula Haggerty with the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association.  “He's approved of and recommended bills that are gutting our public education system."

Work the Contract will last for one week only.  They say it's meant to raise awareness for the extra work teachers do, and won’t hurt students.

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