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School districts, unions still negotiating teacher pay raises

What's the latest on the pay raises that were promised to teachers?

So far, only 13 districts have negotiated the increases with their unions, the state Department of Education said Wednesday.

In those districts, the average teacher raise ranges from $1,500 to $2,900.

The Orange County school system was unable to reach an agreement with its unions, and declared an impasse last month. Talks in the other 53 districts are ongoing.

The Florida Legislature has set aside $480 million for teacher raises. Guidance counselors, school psychologists, social workers, media specialists, principals and assistant principals are also eligible for increases.

Already, educators in some districts stand to fall short of the $2,500 raise Gov. Rick Scott wanted all Florida teachers to receive.

That's partly because school systems had the flexibility to develop their own merit-pay plans, and had to bargain with their unions. But it is also because the $480 million allocation was initially intended to cover only teachers. The amount was never expanded when lawmakers extended the raises to other school personnel. 

School districts have taken different approaches to the increases, state education officials said.

Citrus, Manatee, Okaloosa, Taylor and Wakulla counties doled out their increases based either partly or entirely on performance.

But four counties (Calhoun, Gulf, Leon and Holmes) awarded across-the-board raises. Baker, Hendry, Jackson and Union counties used their share of the money to give teachers "step increases," which differ based on years of service.

State Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach, said she was disappointed.

"I’m disappointed that we did not have more school districts, at least at first blush, award these increases based on performance and performance alone," she said. "To me that was a very important element of what we did. It troubles me that we have school boards and superintendents who ignored that from the Legislature." 

House Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Erik Fresen, R, Miami, said he expected the larger school districts to act differently.

"I would imagine that the pressure to utilize some element of performance will probably increase in the larger districts," he said.

 

Comments

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Dave

No money for anyone here in Marion County. If the governor and legislatures would bother to learn about the law, they might know collective bargaining is part of the process. Of course, they are all above the law.

NameNancy

Does the State forget that if teachers accept merit raises, they lose their tenure? Or did they conveniently forget that if"little" amendment

Millie

How about Janet Adkins, you get paid for your performance?
.....PAY CUT!!!

Orlando Muniz

The union is putting on a good show for those that drank the Kool-Aid. The last time teachers bypassed their union they got quick results. Meanwhile the union stood on the sidelines scarring them to death and making them feel guilty for sticking up for themselves. Teachers should know that history will repeat itself. Wake up people!

Josh

The powers that be continually slap teachers in the face...either locally or at the state level. The GOP wants to look good going into an election year in 2014 and say that they did something to help their high-performing under the circumstances teachers after years of neglect. So the one-time "raise" is offered up, and local school districts decide to carve up the distribution of the funds willy-nilly. Here in Dade, there's no sign that the money is coming any time soon, and our attention-loving superintendent says he's thankful for teachers and the work that they do, but apart from this "raise", he doesn't want to spend one dime of district funds to raise the salaries of his teachers, many of whom have seen almost no pro
gression in step advancement in almost five years. However, $3,000 is available for every administrator, who are the hardest working people in education (sarcasm intended).

victor myers

This money was sent out a year ago and still no raise,teachers should go on strike in Florida and shut the schools down till they get thier raise,this is BS how the republican state representatives screwed it up for everyone,I bet not a single teacher will vote republican again.

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