Ron DeSantis receives legislation aimed at boosting teacher pay
The bill would let school districts offer the most effective teachers longer contracts.

good teachers (Large)
The Governor pushed for a pay raise prior to the 2020 Session.

A bill setting up a process to boost teacher pay in the state is headed to Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ desk Wednesday.

The legislation (HB 641) allocates money to each school district based on their share of funds from the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP). A proportional share of that money will also be sent to charter schools to help teacher salaries as well.

In October, DeSantis pushed for a $600 million package to boost starting teacher pay in the state to $47,500.

Budget negotiations at the close of Session fell short of that number. Lawmakers agreed to set aside $400 million for starting teacher salaries, plus another $100 million to raise the pay of veteran teachers. That money will now be distributed based on that FEFP breakdown.

That split developed after some advocates worried veteran educators would be left out of the starting salary increase. Several districts throughout the state have starting salaries well below $47,500, meaning teachers with years of experience have still not hit that salary in some places.

The final compromise aims to help teachers of all experience levels, rather than just those starting out. However, some lawmakers raised concerns the bill still leaves veteran teachers behind.

“I’m conflicted because we could have done better,” said Sen. Kelli Stargel, who chairs the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education.

Superintendents and charter school administrators will submit their respective pay raise plans to their local school board for approval. The Department of Education must also sign off on those plans.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]


2 comments

  • Observer

    June 17, 2020 at 1:11 pm

    These people work for approximately nine months each year. They have Summers off during which they can hold alternate employment, tutor, or run side businesses full-time. A starting salary of $47,000 plus retirement and other benefits is entirely unjustified. Many people with as much education-or more-than they have do not start their careers at that wage level.

    I can understand allocating additional money to classroom supplies so that teachers do not have to buy them with their own money as some opine that they do. But paying an inexperienced teacher $47,000 plus benefits defies reason.

    • Amy Roberts

      June 17, 2020 at 5:35 pm

      Well, you obviously have never taught and did not have children during the Covid-19 shutdown home schooling via online classes. Teachers not only educate, nurture, and manage a lot of children in the classroom/educational setting, but also jump through continuous unfounded hoops thrown at them from the State and/or Federal government designed much of the time by NON-Educators. All the while continuing with taking classes themselves, workshops, meetings, school after hour functions, planning, and grading have never been a 9-5. A running joke was just another 17 hour day. Teachers are allowed to have a life but believe me, even if they work extra jobs, all things educational through their weekends, holidays, and summers are not far from their minds.

Comments are closed.


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