teacher pay raises

FEA Fund Our Future Tour Bus parked in the Capitol Courtyard between the current Capitol building and the Historic one.
Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

Florida is near the bottom of the nation when it comes to teacher pay. Governor Ron DeSantis wants to change that by raising the base salary. But the state’s largest teacher union says the governor’s plans don’t go far enough. 

The Gadsden County School district has the lowest average teacher pay in Florida. That's according to a state analysis. Yet, while Gadsden is the lowest, four other panhandle school districts aren't far behind.

Valerie Crowder

For the state’s largest teachers’ union, Gov. DeSantis’ proposed minimum salary increase for beginning teachers is “a starting point.” 

A physics teacher writes on his chalkboard in a classroom.
Photo by Tra Nguyen / UnSplash

Could Florida teachers get a long awaited raise this year? Governor Ron DeSantis, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, and Senate Budget Chief Rob Bradley have all discussed it, and the state’s largest teacher’s union is calling for it. But there are plenty of questions about how and whether teachers will get anything.

Governor's Press Office

Governor Rick Scott is taking a victory lap around the state after the legislature okayed $480 million  to fund pay raises for teachers and other school employees.

While the Governor did not get the across-the-board increases he had sought, in a recorded video statement he thanked the legislature for funding the raises. 

“Our teachers are going to receive pay raises because there is $480 million in our budget this year...on top of that, there’s over a billion dollars for the second year in a row to constantly continue improving our education.”   

State of Florida employees and public school teachers are slated for pay raises. But the amount of money they’ll get depends on their current salaries, and in the case of teachers, their annual performance evaluations.

Governor Rick Scott and the legislature are headed toward a clash over teacher pay raises. Scott wants full-time teachers to get $2,500 across-the-board raises. But the legislature’s plans only get the Governor part of the way there, and he and teachers aren’t pleased.

The Florida Senate has outlined a $1.1 billion spending proposal for K-12th grade education that includes the $480 million Governor Rick Scott has called for to fund teacher pay raises.

Scott has said he wants to see every full-time Florida teacher get a salary increase, but the Senate Appropriations Sub-Committee has other ideas. Under an initial outline, the awarding of pay raises will be left to districts which will draw up plans for distributing the money and send those plans to the Florida Department of Education.

It’s been more than five years since Florida's state employees got a raise. Now  Senator Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, says he’s prepared to offer budget language to give state employees salary increases.

Florida’s required three-percent pension contribution law and the expiration of federal tax breaks has meant fewer dollars in the pockets of state employees. Senator Bill Montford, Democratic Whip,  sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee. He says he can’t predict the state’s budgetary future, but that he’s prepared to put an offer on the table for state workers:

Full-time Florida public school teachers could see their incomes rise later this year if Governor Rick Scott gets his way. The Governor is proposing a $2,500 dollar pay raise, but it has to make it through the legislature first.

Governor Scott’s across-the-board teacher pay raise would cost the state about $480 million. Scott, who strongly supported a bill passed two years ago tying teacher pay raises to student performance, says he still believes in merit pay, but also thinks the right thing to do now is give teachers a salary boost: