Putting Education Reform To The Test

Lawmakers And Gov. Scott Compromise On Teacher Raises


Florida Senate President Don Gaetz helped hammer out the state's education budget. He says Florida's teachers and students are the winners.

Lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott reached a compromise on $480 million in raises for teachers and other school workers.

The raises are part of a $74 billion spending plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

Districts will have flexibility in how the money is awarded based on local collective bargaining agreements.

The Governor’s Office says the funding provides every teacher a minimum of a $2,000 pay raise, with raises as high as $3,500 for teachers rated “highly effective.”

Gov. Rick Scott was asking for $2,500 raises across the board, but he seems happy with the compromise.

“I want to thank the House and the Senate for ensuring that we build on our work to implement performance pay, while also allowing school districts the flexibility to use the $480 million in new funding to give every Florida teacher a pay raise,” Scott said.

But the reward won’t come right away. Teachers won’t get the money until June of 2014.

Florida Education Association President Andy Ford likes the deal – except for the delay in handing out the money.

In a statement, Ford said he’s disappointed that legislative leaders postponed the salary increases and are requiring that they be based on “procedures for performance measurement that don’t currently exist.”

Ford also doesn’t want teachers to have to share the money with other school personnel. But he clearly doesn’t want to seem ungrateful.

“FEA thanks Governor Scott for his efforts to provide an immediate across-the-board pay increase to Florida’s classroom teachers,” Ford said. “Through the collective bargaining process, FEA remains committed to working with local school districts to develop fair, valid, reliable and transparent processes to reward the success of Florida’s teaching force.”

Senate President Don Gaetz praised the governor for “lifting up Florida’s schools and teachers.”

“Neither the House nor the Senate nor the Governor “won” in these budget negotiations,” Gaetz said. “The winners were Florida’s teachers who will be better compensated (and) Florida’s students who will be taught by educators recognized and rewarded for their performance.”

House Speaker Will Weatherford said the two chambers agreed to more than $1 billion additional dollars for education.

“This agreement embodies both the strong commitment to fully funding a merit pay plan, while providing local school districts enough money and flexibility to fund local education priorities,” Weatherford said. “This is an incredible win for the teachers and students of our state.”


  • MAJ5757

    Pay raise for teachers? How about a pay raise for the non-union state employees who have not had a pay raise for 6 years???

  • JTinLC

    Don’t feel like the Lone Ranger. Our district hasn’t had a raise 6 years either. We are making less because of the insurance that keeps going up and the “retirement” that is coming out. I put “retirement” because I read where it’s going into the general budget and likely not to be there when I get ready to retire.

  • Drake’s Bride

    OH OUR RAISE IS NOW BASED ONE MERIT???? The merit pay bill is now outdated since they are doing away with the FCAT and going to not only EoCs for another year, but then to the PARCC testing. There has been VERY little training for those, but we’re still being eval’d that way. Oh and yea… if we don’t have an EoC test for high school math.. oh yes… we’re evaluated on teaching READING! WTF? Yea, not a good plan. And now they wanna do the merit pay thing for a raise. It would be more cost effective to do what Scott said and just give everyone the same amount across the board that is getting re-hired. Since there is NO SOLID STANDARD ANYMORE FOR THE 40% EVALUATION, the State CANNOT LEGITIMATELY OR LEGALLY bind us to all this. We got rid of NCLB to do this race to the top CRAP? [Same CRAP different name] Superior teachers are getting out and finding jobs elsewhere, other fields with BETTER pay, because they are truly paid for the hours they work. This 2000-3500 raise is BS. Take us off Salary and Pay us the REAL hours we work and the government might actually have respect for the teaching establishment.

    I am tired of being told that I went into teaching because I couldn’t handle it anywhere else. BS. and THAT ladies and gents is coming from parents that don’t have a high school or a college education and have had nothing more than a minimum wage job that DOESN’T REQUIRE any form of paper saying that they completed the basic competency. FACT IS… AMERICAN society as a whole doesn’t value education. Until the American family, no matter race, creed, orientation, or religion, values education like it once was, we will continue on this downhill slide. So it is the heads of the family, THE PARENTS, that need to get a reality check and re-evaluate what is important and stop letting their kids run the house. TEACHERS ARE NOT YOUR KIDS PARENTS, THEY ARE THEIR EDUCATORS. IF WE WERE PAID WHAT WE TRULY PUT INTO THE JOB, DONALD TRUMP WOULD NOT MAKE AS MUCH AS WE DO IN A YEAR! I have 208 students that I have to be a mentor, a teacher and a parent to on a DAILY basis. So yea, the GOVERNMENT needs to stop twiddling their thumbs and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. STOP GIVING EVERYONE AN EXCUSE TO FAIL!!!!!! [Oh it's alright if you don't do well, you're a minority or you get free-reduced lunch, it's expected!] Everyone’s hurting right now, get over it, study, do your homework and try your best to succeed so you might have a chance to get a job with a good paycheck and make a life for yourself instead of expecting handouts such as welfare and medicaid.

  • Drake’s Bride

    And by the way, they may call it a teacher’s union, but it is an Association… it has no REAL power because FLORIDA is a RIGHT TO WORK state

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