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DeSantis Announces Big-Ticket Item: Plan to Boost Minimum Teacher Salary to $47,500

October 8, 2019 - 7:00am
DeSantis Monday at Middleburg High School in Clay County
DeSantis Monday at Middleburg High School in Clay County

Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed Monday increasing the minimum salary to $47,500 for teachers across the state -- a move that would affect more than 101,000 Florida teachers. The measure will be included in the governor's 2020 budget proposal.

According to the National Education Association, Florida ranks 26th in the nation for starting teacher pay at $37,636. With this investment of more than $600 million, Florida will jump to No. 2 in the nation in starting teacher pay.

“We are experiencing a teacher shortage in Florida,” said DeSantis in making the announcement. “With a strong economy and plenty of jobs available in other fields, unfortunately too many college graduates are unwilling to enter the teaching profession. My proposal to increase the minimum salary for teachers to $47,500 will help alleviate this shortage and elevate the teaching profession to the level of appreciation it deserves. This is long overdue, and I look forward to working with the Legislature to make this a reality.”

Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran praised the governor's move. 

“Getting a great teacher in front of every child is the No. 1 proven way to get great outcomes for students,” Corcoran said. “Today, Governor Ron DeSantis is elevating Florida’s teachers like never before and is making a statement nationally that Florida is the Education State and he is the Education Governor. 

"Florida going from No. 26 to No. 2 in the nation in starting pay sends a clear signal to Florida’s teachers and our entire education family that we are ready to celebrate our teachers and foster lifelong success for our students.”

Speaker of the House Jose Oliva, however, hinted that passing such a big-ticket item among so many others already proposed will be analyzed carefully and skeptically -- particularly in a state that wisely balances its budget.

"I am in receipt of the governor's statement regarding teacher compensation as I am of the over $2B of new spending requests from his agencies," responded Oliva. "The legislative process will properly vet these among all other state concerns. My initial thought is one of gratitude for those who came before us and saw it fit to bind us and all future legislatures to a balanced budget."

DeSantis announced his proposal during a visit to Middleburg High School in Clay County, where he was joined by Corcoran and Senate Appropriations Chairman Rob Bradley. Monday afternoon, he visited Bayview Elementary School in Broward County and Dunedin High School in Pinellas County.

  • "Teachers have made an incredibly positive impact on my life and the lives of my wife and kids,” said Bradley. “This session, it’s time to say thank you both in word and in deed. I’m proud to stand with Gov. Ron DeSantis as we fight for higher pay for Florida teachers.”

  • Education has been a top priority of DeSantis’ administration. During the 2019 legislative session, the governor worked with the Florida Legislature to secure historic achievements for Florida’s students and families, including these:The highest ever per pupil spending at $7,672 per student.

  • The Creation of the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program, which expands education opportunities for children of families with limited financial resources.

  • Continued legislative and funding support for the Schools of Hope Program and expanded the locations where the Schools of Hope Program can operate. 

  • $10 million in funding dedicated to career and technical education for the newly created Florida Pathways to Career Opportunities Grand Program.

  • Funding for students on the waiting list for the Gardiner Scholarship and cleared the waitlist for the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship.

  • $10 million to fund teacher professional development in computer science and reward those teachers for earning credentials to teach high quality computer science courses.


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Will someone please explain to me why teachers, who work only 180 days a year, and spend less than 900 hours a year actually doing work, less than half the workload of the typical 40 hour a week year round worker, are considered underpaid? Teaching is a part time job. Those who choose this way to make a living know this going in. If making 38.75 an hour and receiving a benefit package that is second to none is being underpaid, I want to be underpaid too.

Spend one day in a public school teacher's shoes. You'll support $50,000 as a minimum. Young teachers face school loans, often poorly behaved children with horrible manners and an addiction to video games on their cell phones, a lack of discipline, and many parents who contribute to the problem and were likely nightmares when they themselves were in school. Try to teach a lesson plan with over 30 kids in a class because it's exempted from caps because it's not a core course. The more experienced teachers will have the honors and AP classes where the students are human. Get informed. If you faced what many of them encounter you would be lucky to last a single school year.

You say: "Teaching is a part time job". And I ask, is it customary, or expected, or typical that these teachers supplement their teaching income with another job? I'm guessing not. And if that's the case, then your figures indicate that a teacher from your description makes 900 X 38.75 = $34,875 per year. Anyone with enough skills to earn more than $34,875 per year (equates to $16.72 per hour for a 40 hour a week job) is going to avoid a teaching career. Who is that going to leave to teach our children? If you want to modify your figures to indicate a different yearly income, then please do so and we can continue the conversation.

Maybe this is not the end-all for trying to improves teachers pay - one step at a time. We've got to start somewhere, and I hope this passes. the nay-sayers can go to Hell.

Unfortunately, DeSantis is proposing to raise ONLY THE STARTING SALARY! The only thing that will do is increase the number of newbie, inexperienced, first-year teachers who are applying. It's mostly just a PR move for a state ranked 40th in pre-K to 12 public education and 48th in public school teacher salaries. Trumpist blowhardism!

For higher education, Florida ranks #1 Let's try the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) which is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas. According to them: Florida is the 4th best state in the nation for K-12 student achievement.

Surprise Surprise!!! This is why the Legislative Budget Office was ordered to roll out an early bleak economic forecast. It's the Governor's way of saying: "Hold up boys, no crumbs for your priorities until you scratch my back first". Then I'll order the budget office to do an updated forecast and we will just see what else we can afford and what I'm gonna veto." Just one part of the complex "sausage making" process known as "legislation".

I am not even a teacher and this is exciting news. With kids in school, I appreciate having the best teachers possible for our tax dollars. I'm tired of constantly losing quality teachers to Ga., Al., and Ms. of all places... Bravo Gov. Hopefully, the legislature will put some of that 2 billion+ surplus to good use...

Fat chance this passes republican't legislature. All talk.

democRATs are the worst

The "worst" at what, Anony? Supporting Trump? If so, you're right! And you win a genuine Trump autographed picture of his "Largest Inauguration Crowd In History"! HA, HA, HA!

It was bigger than Hillary's Inauguration Crowd! HA, HA, HA!

Priceless! :-)

“Getting a great teacher in front of every child is the No. 1 proven way to get great outcomes for students,” --- Sounds like a good plan, the problem is how to make a great teacher. It seems that just having a teaching certificate does not make a great teacher. A great teacher is a person who can inspire the student for a thirst for knowledge, the student's desire to learn will both nourish the teacher and ultimately our society.

This is an awesome move. After 30 years in the AF, I looked into teaching; the low pay, coupled with the disrespect had me fleeing far-far away! The disrespect from students and parents will still be present, however, the pay increase is awesome for the teacher, their families, the communities, and the students.

The parents are as bad as the kids. Where do you think the kids get their disrespect from???

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