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Gadsden Among Four Big Bend Counties With Lowest Average Teacher Salaries In Florida

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.

The bottom five school districts according to average teacher salaries are made up of Franklin, Madison, Calhoun and Union counties. Franklin, Madison and Calhoun are located in North Florida's Big Bend region Union is in Northeast Florida, near Jacksonville.

The average teacher salary in Gadsden is $38,000, a figure state Rep. Vance Aloupis notes is $20,000 below Monroe County, home to the Florida Keys.

'What are the other factors driving such a difference?" he asked House K-12 Appropriations Committee Chairman Jack Latvala.

"One's Key West, one's the Panhandle," Latvala said,  noted there are different costs of living, and that district's set teacher pay. In Florida, there are about 91 teachers making more than $100,000 a year, most in South Florida. 

Governor Ron DeSantis doesn't want to get quite that high. But he wants starting teacher pay in the state to rise to about $47,500 with an anticipated cost to the state of $600 million. Lawmakers are now trying to figure out whether that's doable. 

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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