This week Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s teacher pay plan was released and it was significant, to say the least. The current average starting salary for a public-school teacher in our state is $37,636, putting is in the 26th spot nationally. So how does Florida’s grade school education compare? According to US News and World Report, Florida lands 27th in K-12 Education.
In other words, Florida’s starting teacher compensation is inline and slightly better than the overall product being received in our schools. That won’t be the case if Governor DeSantis’s plan comes to fruition. His plan calls for a new minimum starting teacher salary of $47,500. That would raise the starting Comp for teachers to second nationally. The argument is one of affordability for teachers in Florida combined with recruitment efforts that would doubtlessly be enhanced with such a strong start. Overall, the plan would come with significant cost to our state. It would bring the year one cost to $603 million.
Of course, such a boost to starting pay would impact teachers generally. The average teacher makes just over $50,000 per year in the 2019-2020 school year. More details will need to emerge about what compensation will evolve for experienced teachers. Remarkably, the Florida Education Association put out a statement saying it was a “starting point”. A $9,864 dollar per teacher, or 26% raise to 2nd highest nationally is a “starting point”? Attitudes like that make my already overtaxed wallet less desirous of supporting the Governor’s plan. This is real money and real outcomes. We pay for it. Right now, we’re essentially getting what we’re paying for based on outcomes. The FEA should be doing cartwheels and thanking every taxpayer personally if this comes to fruition. But it seemingly is always politics first with the teacher’s union. I’m reserving judgment until more develops. Perhaps teachers should stand up to the union and show some gratitude to the governor and those of us who pay their salaries.
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