How much did the state settle on for teacher raises?
$500 million. That’s broken down as $400 million to raise up the minimum salary in districts statewide and $100 million to raise pay of veteran teachers and other instructional personnel.
Who is eligible to receive raises?
The bulk of the funding will cover full-time classroom teachers who are at the lowest end of the pay scale in their districts and charter schools. That includes certified prekindergarten teachers who teach at public schools.
But $100 million will go to veteran teachers who saw their pay go up 2% or less, as well as other instructional personnel, which includes librarians, guidance counselors and school psychologists.
This does not apply to substitute teachers, paraprofessionals, bus drivers, cafeteria workers or administrative personnel.
How much will my district get?
The amount each district will receive is calculated based roughly on enrollment. The chart on page 41 of this document lays out the numbers district-by-district.
Does this mean that all teachers in Florida will make at least $47,500?
No. That figure, first proposed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, is what districts are directed to shoot for as their minimum base salary. However, not all districts will get there, and the new bill passed by the Legislature, House Bill 641, states that they should get as close as possible based on the funding provided.
If I make more than $47,500, will I receive a raise?
Possibly. The $100 million set aside from the rest is directed to go toward teachers who receive a 2% raise or less from the raise to minimum base pay — i.e., those who already make more than the floor but who are still underpaid from years of teaching.
Some lawmakers have expressed concerns that this raise structure will “compress” teacher wages across the state, as those who are just starting in teaching jobs will likely make close to the same amount as teachers who have been in the profession for decades.
Because of the way the money is being distributed, it’s true that veteran teachers will likely see their pay go up less than those at the bottom of the pay scale.
What if my district already pays all its teachers more than $47,500?
Several districts, including Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, already start their teachers near or above $47,500, because of those areas’ higher cost of living.
But they’re still getting funding from the state for raises proportionate to their enrollment, so teachers and instructional personnel will still be getting pay boosts there.
How does this affect contract negotiations between districts and teachers’ unions?
The state is requiring that the $500 million be used for raises, but it doesn’t dictate many of the details. Those are left up to the districts, which will still bargain with unions. Once they come to an agreement, they will send a report to the Florida Department of Education with their results.
At one point, a bill was proposed that would have required the department to approve districts’ plans for raises before they could be dispersed, but that did not make it into the final version.
Will I still be receiving a bonus from the state?
No. Lawmakers repealed the Best and Brightest teacher bonuses this year, and moved all the funding from those performance-based bonuses into raises.
How does all this compare to what Gov. Ron DeSantis requested?
He had also asked for $600 million to go toward the teacher raises, more than the $500 million lawmakers approved. Lawmakers said that responding to coronavirus played a part in the lower amount.