Teachers who work at Florida A&M University’s Developmental Research School will receive a salary raise or bonus on Dec. 3.
Superintendent of DRS Ronald Holmes said currently the starting salary of a teacher at DRS is $27,500 and in less than one month, the salary will increase to $34,100 for those teachers who have worked less than five years. He added that the amount will match the salary of those who worked five years or more-and those teachers will only receive a bonus of $2,000.
Holmes also said salaries were raised to match other teachers’ starting salary in Leon County.
“This is in line with the plan to improve DRS to a national school of excellence,” he said.
Holmes along with FAMU’s Board of Trustees and DRS’ faculty representative said Holmes made the changes to increase salary and create bonuses.
Some teachers said they were reluctant to talk due to the controversy the raises and bonuses caused. Some said they feel the money awarded to the new teachers should be deserved. Others said they felt deserving of the money.
Artranise Sawyer, a new teacher at DRS, will receive the salary raise and said she will use some of her money to improve education in the classroom.
“I think the money is well deserved because we are the lowest paid teachers in Leon County,” Sawyer said. “I will use some of the money to better my classroom and things used to improve learning among the students.”
She said the money will help with expenses that teachers usually acquire to have proper tools for the students and their classrooms.
Sawyer said she spoke with different teachers about the raises and said many had a difference of opinion.
Selvester Peck, a teacher at DRS who has taught for 15 years said the raise could have been distributed in a better way.
“[It] isn’t a bad change,” Peck said. “But it could have been done better.”
Peck said that even though teachers need the extra money, the money should be allocated to other teachers with seniority and other areas.
The Leon County School District 2007-2008 Pay Schedule said a teacher would have to have a bachelor’s degree to earn the starting salary of $34,100. The pay increases as a teacher holds a higher degree.
Holmes said that more changes will come to DRS. There are plans to change the curriculum along with alumni affairs.