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Governor increases heat on school districts to pay up on teacher raises

Gov. Rick Scott, who pressed lawmakers to fund raises for all teachers this year, is again urging school districts to come through with the contract deals to make the raises reality.

Scott, facing a potentially tough reelection bid, sent a letter to superintendents Monday offering assistance to any district that is struggling to complete negotiations on the added pay, with the end of the first semester near. School teachers across the state continue to await the promise of teacher raises as local school boards and state officials struggle to improve a system that judges as many as two-thirds of the state’s teachers on the test scores of students they’ve never met or on subjects they don’t teach. More here. 

"We understand the local negotiation process that every district must go through in order to finalize teacher pay raise amounts, but we urge any district that has not yet reached a final agreement to contact Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart so we can offer any assistance possible to expedite this district-level process," Scott wrote on Monday. He continued:

"Our support for Florida teachers and our education system is stronger than ever.  The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that Florida had the second largest increase in education spending this year compared to other states.  Florida also had the second largest per pupil increase in education funding on record in the 2013-2014 budget year.  In fact, our budget this year included the most state funding for education ever – a record of more than $10 billion.

"But, all of these numbers represent something more important than money.  This funding is a commitment.  It is a commitment that future generations of Florida workers will have the training, skills and education they need to compete and succeed in a global economy.  Thank you for the leadership in working to make Florida’s education system the best in the world. Your work to quickly finalize teacher pay raises will show the world that we know commitment to the success of Florida students starts with a commitment to Florida teachers."

Scott made a similar push in October.

-- Jeff Solochek, Tampa Bay Times 

Comments

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ed jenkins

This is a horrible waste of taxpayer money to arbitrarily raise the salaries of a group of government employees. Teachers are supposed to be public servants motivated by their desire to teach our youth not motivated by money.

Anti-Tallahassee

ed Jenkins, get a clue. Teachers are public servants. However, they are a highly specialized group of public servants. You're probably willing to throw MILLIONS at charter schools, standardized testing, bells and whistle technology, etc..., but ALL research shows that teachers are the BIGGEST factor in the learning process. Floriduh is behind the curve in teacher pay. If the state does not work to compensate teachers better, other states will attract the best teachers.

Rebecca

I have made less money every year I have been teaching. They have raised our insurance more than my "raise" several times. I did not go into teaching for the money. I truly love my job but making less money every single year is not what I signed on for. As it is, my husband who is also a teacher, and I are barely making ends meet. This money is very much welcomed and appreciated but it's a one time thing. Ed, in response to your comment about teachers loving what they do so they don't need a raise...that is complete hogwash. Tell me one other profession that doesn't give raises because they should love what they do! Thank you anti-Tallahassee for defending teachers.

ed jenkins

As we have seen those complaining about pay for a position in community service or non-profit enterprises such as teaching do not belong in that position. We need people whose only focus is on the welfare of the students and not with one eye on the students with their main focus on grabbing more money from taxpayers. It is not the job of taxpayers to look out for individual teacher's household budgets and someone should know going in to the position that it is not one to make a career out of, but more of a voluntary position for one that has the financial means to do it. Poor planning such as putting an entire household in a position to rely on increasing confiscations of taxpayer money to pay two household members to meet one's household budget is not the fault of the taxpayer. The traditional model which works quite well is for the husband to have a job to pay the vast majority of expenses while the wife can do teaching type positions to supplement it.

Florida Teacher

Ed, get real. What decade are you living in? Teachers in the panhandle start off at $32,000 with a Bachelor's degree and $33,000 with a Master's degree. Many teachers have spouses that are also teachers; they met in college and had similar interests while obtainin their education. Of course, teachers do not teach for the money. Have you ever gone seven years without a pay raise while your family's health insurance doubled (to over $600 per month), your homeowner's insurance was raised because of 'named' storms, gasoline prices increased and childcare that averages over $1,000 per month for two children? Do you get the opportunity to 'go out to eat' rather than having to grocery shop and cook all meals at home? Do you go to the movies or have some other form of recreation that you get to engage in with your family more than once a month? A night out with McDonald's and a movie averages over $100 for our family of four. That is a full day's pay in our school district - before taxes and health insurance, dental insurance, etc. are taken out.
Get real Ed. WE make sacrifices. The State gives money to the Districts, but the Districts don't always pass it along to those it is earmarked for. Don't make judgments when you don't have the facts.
Surely, you aren't a teacher, but surely, you learned something from one or are you an uneducated individual?

ed jenkins

As has been stated previously it is not the position of taxpayers to fill holes in the budgets of people who poorly planned and expected their shortfalls to be made up with government confiscations of taxpayers money to pay them more. Just as we do not need people teaching our children who are of bad moral character, we also do not need financially irresponsible people setting an example for our children. the position of teacher is best filled by mothers living in the area who care about the children in the community. These women do not need the income as their husbands provide for the households and they can teach because of their interest in the children learning and not for the money. Two people married who are teachers should be independently wealthy or willing to live lifestyles of priests and nuns.

Rebecca

Ed you are just wrong. My husband and I are actually very financially responsible. We have planned for the future of our children and our own retirement. I am glad you were privately educated or home schooled because you obviously have no idea what public education is or how it works. I also feel for the females in your life because you have very little understanding of the world today. Unless you marry for money, staying at home is not a realistic option. I have no grand scheme to rob the taxpayers and I don't expect to be paid if I don't work. (Unlike many politicians who get paid no matter if they work or just sell their votes) I just hope your opinions are yours alone. The world will quickly become the haves vs the have nots if your ideas are in the majority. Sleep well knowing that another teacher has just spent their own money on yet another item for their class and students. Heaven forbid we steal your precious, hard earned money.

Ima Luney

Old man Jenkins hit his head pretty hard when he fell off his dinosaur, give him a break.

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