Q&A – Governor DeSantis’s Teacher Pay Plan

Today’s entry - As far as the Governor wanting to raise teacher pay, I am against it. Now I know people will attack this point of view because it just seems wrong to even think this. I have sent both my children through the public school system. While they got an “education” technically, they were basically taught how to take a test and get a good grade on it. Not sure if you know, but the schools do not even teach cursive writing any longer.

Teachers KNOW what they are getting into when they apply for the job. They know the pay scale going in. I've been a firefighter for 24 years now. When I started, I took a pay cut, compared to the job I was coming from, but that was fine, I knew that going in. You do a job because you WANT to do it, NOT for what you feel you should be paid. I ended up having to work both jobs to make ends meet.

Compare JOB A with JOB B. No title of the jobs, just salary and job duties. For instance, my job.

JOB A

Avg. salary of $38,102 per year. There's exposure to life-threatening hazards. Plus, you must be able to work weekends and holidays. It'll be a 48-hour workweek with health and retirement benefits.

JOB B

A starting salary of $47,500 per year, if DeSantis get his way. You must be good with children. You'll get all weekends off, 1 week off for Thanksgiving, 2 weeks off for Christmas, 1 week for spring break and won't work June and July. A 40+ hour workweek with health and retirement benefits.

JOB A could be any job you see fit, compared to teachers. I just used mine because it is what I’m familiar with. I think if you did a comparison like that, people MIGHT get a different perspective. It won't be a knee jerk reaction anytime someone has the audacity to say that teachers make a fair wage. 

Bottom Line: It would be hard for anyone to effectively articulate the bigger picture considerations in play. I recently broke down Governor DeSantis’s proposed starting teacher's salary of $47,500. There, I highlighted that the starting salary would be the 2nd highest nationally.

Here’s some additional context. The average income of Floridians is currently $33,642 annually according to Zip Recruiter. That means the average teacher already earns 33% more than the average taxpayer who pays their salary. Additionally, as you illustrated, a Floridian also works considerably more than the average teacher. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not justified but it should be part of this conversation. After all, while many in media are quick to suggest that teachers always are deserving of more money without consideration to their constituents, who pays for this? We do. 

According to the Florida Department of Education, $26 billion were spent on Florida public education during the 2017-2018 school year. That means your family is shelling out more than $4k for public education annually, whether you use the school system or not. With the proposed increase for starting teacher salaries, it'll cost the state $603 million more in the first year. Should this proposal pass, without any additional increases, it’ll cost you $95 more per year. This is real money coming out of your pocket through your property taxes, sales taxes and income taxes. 

Florida’s public education system ranks 27th nationally. I’d like to know specifically how taking Florida’s starting salary to 2nd nationally will result in significantly improved outcomes. Maybe it will, but we should be presented with a plan of how this will happen. In the real world, this is how expense increases work. You create a plan demonstrating how the increased compensation will result in improved outcomes. 

Submit your questions using one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1

Photo by: Getty Images/AFP

 
 

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