Q&A – Substitute Teacher Pay In South Florida

Today’s entry -I have been listening to you on the radio regarding the teacher pay controversy and would like to inform you that a Florida certified teacher, retired in Broward County, is paid a whopping $11.27 per hour. They have nobody bargaining for them and you never hear a word about a pay raise for them. This is disgusting and a slap in the face of all these substitutes teaching our children and youth. My wife, a 30-year retired teacher, continues to teach because she is dedicated and loves her profession. There have been no pay raises for years and nobody in the administration seems to care. What would happen if none of them showed up for their sub jobs? Maybe you could do some research on this and perhaps assist in making a change.

Bottom Line: It’s true that the near-annual debates about teacher pay generally exclude conversations about substitute teacher pay and under Florida law, the onus falls to each school district. The only minimum mandatory requirement for substitute teachers in Florida is that they have a high school diploma. Under state law, this is the language addressing compensation, "Each school board shall adopt rules prescribing the compensation of, and the procedure for employment of, substitute teachers. Such procedure for employment shall include, but not be limited to, the filing of a complete set of fingerprints".

Since it’s up to each school district, that’s where we have to look to find each county's substitute teacher compensation. In South Florida, the hourly wage ranges from $11.27-$15.49 in Broward County, $11.16-$17.46 in Miami-Dade and $11.33 - $16.91 in Palm Beach.

The rate is based on various factors in each county. They include level of completed education, experience, complexity of the class/material being taught. Because the local districts make the determinations, it varies in each. The median rate in Broward for substitute teachers is $13.38. Florida’s substitute average hourly rate is $14.22 for the 2019-2020 school year. So, Broward’s median rate does trail the state average by 84 cents per hour. Without digging deeper into the differences between Broward and the rest of the state, it does appear to be relatively low. Florida’s rate, at $14.22 is 26% higher than the national average. It turns out that substitutes just don’t earn much relatively to fulltime teachers. 

At a minimum, I’d say you’d have a strong case to advocate for the statewide average in Broward, or anywhere in South Florida for that matter, given the diversity of classrooms, learning environments and above-average cost-of-living. If you want to see substitute teacher pay rise, engagement with the school board is what’s needed. Light engagement and participation with local school boards in South Florida and beyond are probably why the compensation levels are relatively low in the first place. 

Submit your questions using one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

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