Broward Teacher Snares Big Pay Day From Court





Broward math teacher Steven Yerks will get his job back and a big pay day after the Florida Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of an order that he be rehired.

In addition to his teaching job, Yerks will receive back pay from the 2014-2015 school year. He will also be paid for sick and personal days he would have accumulated had he been working and be reimbursed for all insurance money he paid.  The school system will also have to pay for Yerks’ retirement benefits since his firing and his legal fees.

A 25-year veteran with a master’s degree, Yerks was fired from his job at Boyd Anderson High after the principal gave him a poor rating on his evaluation during the 2013-2014 school year.

With the help of the Broward Teachers Union, Yerks appealed his firing.

An administrative judge found that the principal did not follow the proper procedures in evaluating Yerks.

The School Board “refused to accept the administrative law judge’s finding,” according to a BTU news release on the case.

The BTU appealed to the Court of Appeals, which sided with the administrative judge.

Again, the School Board refused to accept the decision and appealed to the Supreme Court.

When the Supremes refused to take the case last week, Yerks won.

“This is a huge victory for one of our members and BTU,” said BTU President Anna Fusco, calling it another example on how flawed teacher evaluations can “be unfairly used depending on who is performing the evaluation–a point BTU continues to fight with the district.”


Anna Fusco


My take: The School Board is very willing to waste money dragging a case out for four years against a teacher despite losing twice.

After all, its not their money.  Unfortunately, its ours.


10 Responses to “Broward Teacher Snares Big Pay Day From Court”

  1. Dean Ledbetter says:

    Glad to see you again Buddy

  2. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    Well its all about deny, delay.Kick the can down the road.Sooner or later you got to pay.Its like pay now or deny,delay.Yes you live for another day.You buy yourself sometime but kicking the can down the road you(school this incident) you end up paying out more than if you just settled up right then and there.Alot of lawyers like using this strategy etc.They don.t care cause the longer a case drags on the more money they make(billable hours).So who wins.Who loses.I ll tell who the taxpayer paying for all this does..

  3. Rico Petrocelli says:

    Buddy, maybe the School Board was taking advice from Plantations City Attorney…lol.. 2 separate rulings and they still continued on. A great Public Records request would be to see what the School Boards Attorney’s fees were pertaining to this AFTER the 1st judge rules against them. What is right: It’s easy to spend other peoples $$$$$$$

    Rico Petrocelli
    Plantation Councilman 2005-2009

  4. A local teacher says:

    So Buddy, does this mean that the evaluation system was flawed, the user improperly applied the system, or poor training? Because the other side of this is the hundreds of teachers who have been rated just below highly effective who missed out on state provided bonuses for that designation, ranging between $6,000-10,000. If it unfairly got a person fired, is it also unfairly stopping this bonus for underpaid teachers?


    The principal and assistant principal observed Yerks and “failed to properly implement” the observation tools created for evaluating a teacher, according to the BTU.

  5. Thomas D. James says:

    Broward school board members and Runcie need replaced. They are incompetent. An $800 million bond issue was passed three years ago yet as of now, NO projects have been initiated, NO money has spent and costs of identified projects have gone up considerably while they sit on the drawing board.
    Maybe if we can get more than 16% of the sheep out to vote in school board elections we can get some people on the board who actually know what they’re doing and actually care about students, teachers, parents and taxpayers.

  6. Sidonia Todd says:

    I had to go through 13 job interviews after my principal gave me a needs improvement! That year I was teacher of distinction!!! I have taught 30’years and have numerous awards!! So after being an excellent teacher one principal can try to ruin your career! She fired the entire custodial staff! She “encouraged” 13 teachers to leave! She was principal of the year last year! Can you say, our county doesn’t care?


    Evaluation of a teacher’s job performance is good in concept, but unfortunately it has been abused by some principals and vice principals. They have nothing to lose by bending the process. Principals or vice principals don’t pay any legal or administrative actions resulting from their actions.

  7. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    #5 Sounds like you should run for School bd w/ a platform in which you just described.

  8. Terry Lopez Preuss says:

    Mr. Yerks your courage and tenacity paid off and Justice was done! And to BTU… good work by our union that proves stronger every day!

  9. John says:

    listening to the BTU shills defend this racist teacher who called students the N-word, literally pushed students out of classrooms, called students “losers” to their face as i heard it from 2 feet away… that is the reason i never paid any dues to the BTU… especially Terry… at least have the face to acknowledge that this guy is a total scumbag

  10. John says:

    of course since my comment wasn’t pro-BTU you would censor my comment. typical