Florida teacher unions fight pieces of state pay plan

A roundup of Florida education news from around the state.
Teachers and supporters have been pushing for changes to Florida's school funding and salary system for years, including during this January 2000 "Take on Tallahassee" rally at the Old Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)
Teachers and supporters have been pushing for changes to Florida's school funding and salary system for years, including during this January 2000 "Take on Tallahassee" rally at the Old Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Phil Sears) [ PHIL SEARS | Associated Press ]
Published Dec. 10, 2021

Veteran teachers across Florida have struggled to make gains financially in recent years without giving up their continuing contracts. State lawmakers have not prioritized them for raises, focusing on improving base pay instead. As teacher unions attempt to get more money for their most experienced members, they’re running into obstacles. Read on for that story and more Florida education news.

The Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association has asked for a longevity supplement during negotiations. District officials have rebuffed the request.

Duval County teachers reached an agreement to boost some salaries to the state’s targeted minimum of $47,500. The deal does not give similar raises to more veteran district educators, WJCT reports.

Gov. Ron DeSantis included teacher raises in his 2022 budget proposal. The initiative continued to focus on minimum pay. See the governor’s proposal here.

Hot topics

Masking: The College Board is offering free SAT retakes to students who attended the recent test administration at a Flagler County high school where a school board member urged them not to wear masks despite a College Board requirement, Flagler Live reports.

Academic freedom: The University of Florida’s president and faculty senate have reached an agreement on how to get past multiple breaches of professors’ academic freedoms.

Crowding: The Clay County School Board is poised to redraw attendance boundaries for three high schools as it prepares to consider adding another school, WJXT reports. • Changes to elementary school zones in the Palm Beach County school district are advancing despite some community opposition, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Coming and going

Pinellas County School Board member Nicole Carr won’t seek reelection. She said she’d prefer some other type of public service.

Miami-Dade County superintendent Alberto Carvalho is headed to the top schools job in Los Angeles. He’s led the Miami district since 2008, the Miami Herald reports. More from the LA Times, The 74.

More school news

A Leon County elementary school opened a new family resource center. It will offer community services aimed at improving the lives of parents and families, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

A television personality has pledged $1 million to show support for hard-working Americans during the holidays. He started by giving $18,000 checks to all employees at the Miami high school he graduated from, WPLG reports.

More information continues to emerge about the Palm Beach County school district’s dealings with a principal who denied the Holocaust. An internal investigation revealed that a lack of official procedures and training dragged the situation into a years-long controversy, the Palm Beach Post reports.

School districts continue to recognize their top teachers. Those announcing their annual teacher of the year awards include Sarasota (WWSB) and Leon (Tallahassee Democrat).

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From the police blotter ... A dozen students at a Seminole County high school were arrested after a campus brawl, WKMG reports. • A Broward County middle school student was arrested with weapons in his school backpack, WPLG reports. • An Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University student was arrested on allegations of plotting to shoot up the campus, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

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