Florida school boards start setting their salaries
The law couldn't have been more clear for this year's budgets: Florida school boards should get paid the amount that the Legislative Committee on Intergovernmental Relations set or the amount of a first-year teacher with a bachelor's degree — whichever is less.
That didn't prove a problem in Pinellas, where the staff determined that a beginning teacher's salary of $37,010 was less and simply reduced the board members' pay in the payroll system.
In Pasco, the administration decided to give board members an option.
Yes, the LCIR recommended board member pay of $37,738 is higher than the $36,420 salary of a first-year Pasco teacher, the staff noted. But if you annualize the teacher's pay to 245 days, as the FBSA has suggested, it comes to $45,525 — much less than the LCIR's amount.
Now it's up to the board to choose whether to take a $1,294 cut, or a $24 raise.
Board members don't seem to be biting. And that's a good thing, state Senate Education Appropriations chairman Steve Wise told the Gradebook.
"When we wrote the language, it was specific," Wise said. "Whatever the beginning salary was, the school board salary was not to be higher than what the (beginning) teachers get. None of this voodoo economics. ... Give me a break."