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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Wha? Pinellas teachers got a raise last year??? Who can tell?

We've gotten lots of feedback on this story about the Pinellas County's new contract for printing and copying, which ran in Sunday's Tampa Bay Times.

But there was one paragraph that seemed to really strike a nerve with teachers who say they haven't seen raises in years, let alone last year:

While teachers across the district received an average 1.5 percent step raise districtwide last year — the first salary increase since 2007-08 — that didn't mean pay for every teacher went up, due to cuts in supplements and decreases in tax revenues that contribute to teacher pay.

Prior to publication, Christine Amstutz, one teacher quoted in the story, even provided the Times with figures from her W-2s showing that not only did she not get any raises, her pay has gone down over three years. When we asked Kevin Smith, the head of finance for the district, about those numbers, he took exception to the calendar year figures reflected in the IRS forms, saying that district numbers showed her salary did increase slightly over the fiscal period but that there may be other factors that went into the drop reflected in her W-2s.

All that to say, we'd like to sort this out and we want your assistance.

Attached below is a spreadsheet provided to the Times by the district's finance department showing teacher salaries going back to 2006-07. It shows that the district did grant an average step increase last year, though with other cuts it appears that many didn't see any increase.

Are you a teacher who, despite this raise, saw a reduction in your salary? We'd love to hear from you. Call or write Rebecca Catalanello at (727) 893-8707 or

[Last modified: Monday, May 7, 2012 12:54pm]


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