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Gradebook podcast: Can Florida afford teacher raises and increase per-student funding, too?

House PreK-12 Appropriations chair Chris Latvala discusses leadership’s education priorities and how they hope to get there.
Rep. Chris Latvala, R-Palm Harbor, chairs the House PreK-12 Appropriations committee. [News Service of Florida]
Published Nov. 7

Florida’s government leaders have decided to prioritize increasing teacher pay in their next state budget.

They also want to expand vouchers, bolster school security, improve early education funding and raise per-student spending.

They don’t want to raise taxes, either. (Did we mention the governor and the majorities in both chambers are Republican?)

Is the goal possible? After all, Florida has more things to spend money on that schooling.

State Rep. Chris Latvala, chairman of the House PreK-12 Appropriations committee, talks with reporter Jeff Solochek about the moves under consideration to afford these many education priorities.

RELATED: Gradebook podcast: Why are Florida teacher union leaders riding a bus around the state?

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Gov. Ron DeSantis greets local officials at Dunedin High School on Oct. 7, 2019, part of a swing around the state to announce his plan to boost starting teacher pay in Florida to $47,500. He revealed a related teacher bonus plan on Nov. 14 in Vero Beach. MEGAN REEVES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The new plan would replace the controversial Best and Brightest model that DeSantis had called confusing.
  2. Cotee River Elementary student Darrell Jones waves his American flag during the school's Veterans Day program.
    The School Board is scheduled to vote on the calendar next week.
  3. Pasco eSchool principal JoAnne Glenn is surprised by school district officials who announced she is their 2020 Principal of the Year. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff
    A discussion with Pasco County Principal of the Year JoAnne Glenn.
  4. An investiture ceremony is set for Thursday at 2 p.m. inside USF’s Yuengling Center in Tampa. Currall and other USF leaders will speak about the school’s future.
  5. Experts are recommending the flu shot as outbreaks pop up in Hillsborough County schools.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  6. The Pasco County school district is considering an increase in substitute teacher pay to combat its low fill rate for the jobs.
    District officials say more competitive wages could help fill vacancies, which have been rising.
  7. JoAnne Glenn is cheered by her staff as deputy superintendent Ray Gadd and other district officials surprise her with the announcement that she is Pasco County's 2020 Principal of the Year. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff
    JoAnne Glenn next will be entered for the statewide honor.
  8. Pasco County school superintendent Kurt Browning briefly blocked a critic from his social media accounts. He has since restored access to the person but says he would rather they have a conversation, “like two grown adults.” [Times (2016)]
    Kurt Browning restored his online nemesis as a Twitter follower and Facebook friend after staffers told him that blocking people was a no-no.
  9. Shawn Tye, left, applies fiberglass to a boat console as Dustin Pirko looks at Marchman Technical Education Center. Hernando’s business development manager says that in creating a technical school an effort would be made not to duplicate Marchman.
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  10. Sen. Travis Hutson presents his Job Growth Grant Fund legislation to the Senate Education Committee on Nov. 12, 2019. The Florida Channel
    The original version would have targeted charter schools only.
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