DeLand, FL - Volusia United Educators President Elizabeth Albert said that Governor Ron DeSantis recommending pay raises for teachers is great but she wants to know how it will be decided on who gets the raise. She also brings up the point that teachers who have tenure might already be at the suggested minimum. What kind of compensation will they get?
DeSantis made the announcement today in Clay County, where he said the average starting salary is just under $39,000 annually. Under his proposal, he said about 100,000 teachers would receive a raise. Albert estimates union teachers in the state of Florida to number about 143,000. She said if the increase does not include veteran teachers, it will create a hemorrhage of teachers from the state of Florida.
Albert also questions where the money for the raises will come from. She wonders if it's sustainable? Is it something that will be reoccurring? Or will it be like the lottery money deal? Albert said they were told they were going to give the schools all the money from the lottery but then they took money away from somewhere else. She asked if the school districts are going to be fully funded or if money will be shifted around and then the districts will have to make up the funding somewhere else.
News Service Florida quotes DeSantis as saying the teacher salary proposal would cost $603 million and said it is "easily doable." Albert said that's all well and good but DeSantis can say anything because the legislation would have to be voted on to make it happen.
Albert finished with the reminder that Florida ranks number 46 in teacher pay in the country. Also, Florida is one of the wealthiest states in the country but not enough money is being spent on children and public education. She said after generations not being educated properly we'll be left with adults who are not properly educated.
News Service Florida reports that DeSantis does not have to release his full budget proposal until December.