Teacher raises are coming to Florida’s public schools.
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on March 21 that he was approving $800 million for teacher pay raises in this year’s budget passed by the Florida Legislature, according to new4jax.
It would be up to each school district to decide how to allocate the money.
According to fl.gov, $800 million is a $250 million increase over last year’s funding and brings Florida’s investments in teacher pay to greater than $2 billion since the 2020 legislative Session. In 2020, the average starting salary for a teacher in Florida was $40,000 — 26th in the nation — and with today’s funding, it will now be at least $47,000, jumping to 9th in the nation.
The governor said he hopes raising starting salaries will bring more teachers into the profession.
Malone Conner, a third-grade student teacher at W. T. Moore Elementary in Tallahassee, says she is thrilled about teachers getting a raise, as she is about to begin her teaching career this fall.
“If it wasn’t for teachers many people wouldn’t be where they are today. Teachers matter and I’m happy to see that the governor is making this one of his main priorities,” she said.
DeSantis acknowledged that this had been a priority for his administration.
“Over the last three years, we have worked hard to increase teacher pay,” he said. “We have invested more than $2 billion in teacher pay, and with rising inflation, this could not come at a better time. This will help Florida to recruit and retain great teachers,” according to fl.gov.
Buncher hopes the trend continues.
“It’s a good start, and like I said, there’s a lot of things that are coming to teachers down the line, new testing, new bills, and every year there’s new mandates and more and more things added for teachers to do,” Buncher said.
There should be some pay raises for teachers who are veterans to at least stay ahead of the game to reward those teachers for staying in the profession for a long time, according to a story in NBC Miami.
“One of the goals we’ve had is to increase the average minimum salary across the state of Florida; you want to recruit more people to come in; they’ve gotta be able to afford to be able to be teachers,” the governor said.
During his speech, DeSantis added that this is a process, and he hoped to do more next year.