Putting Education Reform To The Test

Bill Would Set Minimum Teacher Starting Salary Of $50,000

Orlando Democratic Sen. Darren Soto has introduced a bill establishing a minimum salary of $50,000 for all "instructional personnel."

Florida Senate

Orlando Democratic Sen. Darren Soto has introduced a bill establishing a minimum salary of $50,000 for all "instructional personnel."

Beginning teachers would earn at least a $50,000 salary – starting next school year – under a bill filed this week in Tallahassee.

Sen. Darren Soto (D-Orlando) filed the bill, SB 280, which cites a need for the state to attract and retain teachers. It seeks to increase their pay without affecting other personnel and programs.

Lawmakers would have to put enough money into education to guarantee the minimum starting salary for teachers and to ensure that districts have enough money to maintain other services. The base salary would be adjusted each year for inflation.

The bill doesn’t explain how lawmakers should come up with the money to boost all of those salaries. It makes no mention of teacher evaluations – which impact salaries. It also doesn’t say whether experienced teachers would get a pay increase since beginners would be bumped up considerably.

While the starting pay varies among districts, the state Department of Education says the average salary among all Florida teachers for the 2013-2014 school year was $47,780.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics says the average salary for all Florida workers is just over $41,000.


  • Renee O’Brien

    This is my 19th year, and I have a Master’s degree and I still make under $50,000….

    • scoobette01

      How is that possible???

      • Renee O’Brien

        I live in Florida…

        • Darrell

          you have little years of experience, that is how…

          • Renee O’Brien

            19 years is a small number?

          • scoobette01

            I posted a couple of links to salary schedules. According to the one for those hired prior to July 1, 2011, Renee O’Brien should be making $49,780. jraspj should be making $52,530. Is this true for you? And if not, why? Thank you in advance for your insight.

          • Jon K. Wright

            The salary schedules that are posted, as compared with the current ones, have changed drastically(at least in Palm Beach County, where i used to teach).

    • jraspj

      I am in the same situation. I am at year 21 with a Masters making under 50,000. I could quit and come back for a pay raise. Earning 50,000 a year would give me more than any raises, combined, that I have received in 10 years.

      • Free Cuban

        You have an MA and 21 years and you do not make 50.000! Where is that?

        • Katherine Elizabeth

          Same. I make barely 40k
          per year, teaching for 11 years with a Masters degree.

    • Jon K. Wright

      Ridiculous. I came to PB a few years ago, just to be told my experience wouldn’t be counted from 07-13, I started at 43k. Then they changed the steps. I moved back to NJ and now I’m making 64k. And I have a bachelor degree.

      Our country needs a standard nationwide scale. And save the “where to get money from” jargon. 3 cents of every dollar goes to education. Know what 55 cents of every dollar goes to? Wars.

  • jen

    does this mean I get to quit and get re-hired so I can make $50,000? I have an educational specialist degree with 15 years experience and do not make this…

    • Realitysucks

      The bill reads for (all) instructional staff.

  • Amanda

    This is fantastic! I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAS TAKEN SO LONG….
    Hopefully it passes!

  • Darlene

    A teacher needs to work for 22 years in Pasco before reaching that “average” salary!

    • jraspj

      That is if they are on the correct step. I have 21 years with a Masters and am not at $50,000

    • Katherine Elizabeth


  • William

    No way is the average pay for teachers anything with a 4 in it. 34, maybe. Starting salaries are so low, and teaching has become glorified test-learning, and more and more people are “trying it out for a year or two,” then realizing it sucks and quitting. I would call anyone a liar who says there are more “veteran” teachers than “new” teachers working in the state right now. With starting salaries so low, and so few veteran teachers – who, let’s face it, never get to 45 anyways – there is no way the average is as high as that report. Sounds to me like a shitty piece of made up information (“shinfo”) to let taxpayers and politicians know that “teachers make plenty of money.” No WAY does this bill ever pass.

    Let’s not forget that, at some point, some idiot is going to say, “why do teachers need such a high salary, they don’t work over the summer?!?” and all Hell will break loose.

    This is never going to happen. Too many people worry too much about THEMSELVES and HOW IT’S ALWAYS BEEN DONE. Ask someone to make a potentially negative change to their life which might positively affect someone else’s and see what they say. Here, I’ll just say it for them:

    “Nah, I’m good.”

    I don’t have enough faith in humanity to believe that this will ever pass.

    Good day.

    • Jon K. Wright

      Anyone foolish enough to ask that, here’s your answer: We went to college 5-6 years and trained for this job. We still train while on the job. We train and improve every year.

      If you think it’s so easy, I will give you the address to my school. You can come and teach my kids. I bet my next overpaid paycheck that you wouldn’t last an entire day.

  • Darrell

    Jen, if you read it, if you are currently teaching, your salary would be compensated and raised. They will still use a percentage base scale for all years of experience.

  • Darrell

    Renee you need more years of experience… that is why you are under 50…

  • teachinlovinit

    Here’s a link to the Clay County Teacher Salary Schedule.

    We are still working under the 2013-2014 schedule. It takes 21 years of experience with a bachelors degree to reach $50,000.

  • Not worth it!!

    Darrell, I don’t think you read this statement from the article – “It [the bill] also doesn’t say whether experienced teachers would get a pay increase since beginners would be bumped up considerably.”

    Most people outside of teaching do not understand the salary “stepping stones” in the teaching profession in many of Florida’s counties, and how small the pay increases are over time. In my county, it currently takes 5 years to gain an additional $400 of income, 10 years to gain $2,200 of additional income, and 21 years to reach a $10,000 increase. Between years 1-7, your salary is almost stagnant, with a mere $300 increase over the entire period. (In teaching, “year 1″ means you have completed a full year of teaching, not that you are currently in your 1st year. Consequently, “year 1” is actually your second year of teaching). The above pay also includes $3,216 in referendum money, which could be revoked or reduced at anytime based on available funding.

    Of course, this is using current pay scales, and these numbers do imply
    that teachers with 21 years of experience are making $50,000 a year, which is
    where the problem lies. The starting teacher salaries 20-30 years ago were
    considerably smaller. My friend started teaching in the early 80’s, and her
    starting salary was about $10,000 a year.

    This bill won’t pass because there will never be enough funds to raise the veteran teacher’s salaries accordingly. Recently, our county raised starting pay for new teachers to $40,000 (up from $37,500), and even that small boost caused a huge backlash because new teachers are now making more than teachers with 8+ years experience.

    By the way, although I taught full-time for the past 21/2 years, I am still in the bracket of new teacher because my contracts were “temporary.” And even
    though the increases for new teachers are beneficial to me personally, it is
    hugely unfair to veteran teachers.

    If it does pass (by some miracle), the bill is likely to be another unfunded mandate thrust upon local school districts, just like the additional expenses of implementing the common core standards.

  • miguel

    I just started teaching this year… I hope I count as a beginning teacher….

  • Florida Teacher

    Love this guy! I am a teacher and for those who are not, should not comment on this thread. Until you have worked some 80+ hours for mandated meetings, plans, and grading that you don’t ever get paid for, should not comment on a post, like they know what they are talking about. As for summers, we DONT GET PAID holidays or summers. We have to make the measly wage we earn last those three months. We get paid an hourly wage, like McDonalds workers! Furthermore, because there is not funding for education, all the money I make goes back into my classroom for ink, copy paper, and mandatory resources that are not supplied. I hope this guy gets a fair shake at making this happen. It would definitely help to retain some of us very passionate teachers.

  • Dawn Preston

    This is my 23rd year teaching, have a masters, certified in 4 areas, and I am just over the $50,000. Will I ever get a raise?

    • Tim

      I am on my 26th year and I now make a little over 50. If the pay scale goes up 15000 to bring their pay scale up to 50 I expect 15000 to be added to my pay also. If it does not raise veteran teachers also I am not for it.

  • Gail Doane

    According to O*Net data and FLDOE, the average Florida salary is at 41,000 because our state is made up of the service industry-tourism, retail etc.. Furthermore, according to 2011 statistics, just over 29% of Florida adults over 25 have a Bachelor Degree or higher. Those with the higher degrees are either in medical (highest paid in the state) or education. These are factors to consider when bringing in “averages”. I’d say the school board members would advocate for this bill because for four hours a month work, they get a starting teacher’s salary.

  • Mo

    Will we be working year round? Longer schools days?

  • meme

    47,000 where in the state of florida???? Try 10,000 less…

  • Xavier Cardenas

    yea my wife have a Master’s degree and still make under $50,000

  • cgarza

    Funny how Florida wants to increase the minimum pay and Texas wants to decrease minimum pay to $27,500 for all teachers

  • scoobette01

    This bill appears to have “Died in Pre K – 12 on May 1, 2015

  • scoobette01

    Here are the salary schedules for Pinellas County teachers:

    Hired before July 1, 2011:

    Hired after after June 30, 2011

    Is anyone here from Pinellas County and not being paid according to those schedules? If so, why not?

  • dude

    You all have a Masters Degree and were not educated enough to check the Teachers PAY Scale in Florida.

  • Franklin

    There is a petition filed right now that could provide 100 million dollars a year specifically for Teacher Salaries. The Florida Organisation for reform intends to reclassify cannabis for adult-over 21 retail sales, while removing criminal penalties for minimal possession of Medical Marijuana, and allowing doctors to recommend the plant. Estimates from the Rand Report in comparison to Vermont and Ohio, put the State of Florida in a billion dollar marketplace for a regulated cannabis market. 10% of all funds are set aside to fund teacher salaries as part of the constitutional amendment……Some of the comments made here against teachers are not encouraging or helpful. But they do show us the reality of finding new funding in the state budget and the attitude of taxpayers. See Florida Right to Grow on Facebook for more details.

  • Brandon

    I love how they don’t explain where they are going to get the money from. Anyone know if this passed?

    • StateImpactJOC

      The bill did not pass, and never really had a chance at passing.

  • morgan debra


    This is to inform the general public that Mrs , BRENDA HOPE a private loan lender has open up a financial opportunity for everyone in need of any financial help. We give out loan at 2% interest rate to individuals, firms and companies under a clear and understandable terms and condition From

    $20000 to $7000000 USD, Euro And Pounds Only. I give out Business Loans,

    Personal Loans, Student Loans,Car Loans And Loans To Pay Off Bills. contact us today by e-mail at: (brendahope816@gmail.com)

  • Jon ThisismyrealnameSmith

    I make 38k a year in Hillsborough. While you’re off at work, I’m wearing two different socks with a stomach full of ramen.

  • Sujan Swearingen

    Education in America is still the blind leading the blind. Teachers in America fail to recognize cultural, social, or political aspects of students. They think they know better and they clearly do not. They regularly deny opportunities to people because of the color of thier skin. They have very little command of thier subject material and are heavily biased. Educators in America are idiots and the U.S. will not change until educational reform becomes a reality. We sure as hell should not be wasting more taxpayer dollars on generation after generation of incompetent educators.

  • David Carlson

    The bill doesn’t explain how lawmakers should come up with the money to boost all of those salaries. 

    Its coming from the 65 million dollar education surplus.

  • joshcoppen

    Dallas ISD starting salary is 50k. Florida will have to catch up if they want to compete with other states.

    • Jon K. Wright

      We are 50k here in NJ as well, but I’d bet Dallas, especially it’s suburbs would be better living.

  • Mj

    I have a masters and would love to teach. Could I get hired at over age 45 or so?

    • Free Cuban

      “YES we can”, said Obama. Of course, you need to land in the school as a substitute to get some experience. This will give you the chance to know if this is what you want. But a masters in? The subject matters too.

  • ou812

    Good teachers need more money.. so suck off anyone that killed this bill.

    • Trumpit

      This bill is just a sham to get young people excited about teaching and there are innumerable young people, including many, many teachers who are ready to bite the bait. The guy is just a phony for a politician .O.K. not going to ever happen; he is just another politician who thrives on people’s stupidity. Bogus, just bogus. Is he soon up for re-election? My guess!

  • Sean

    I come to this forumn seeking advice! I will be be graduating with my bachelors this December 2016. I want to teach Business Education or Mathematics(second choice) in high schools of Dade county. I believe I can have a really good impact on students.
    I just want to know what advice can you give an aspiring educator? What are some thing you wish you knew before entering the profession? I am aware of the state required exams and required educator prep courses.
    Also, What is the state of this bill? Did it pass or not?
    Your help and advice is appreciated!

  • Dan

    I love it when so called “conservatives” talk about teachers not needing more pay. Its like they don’t understand the concept of an open and competitive market that they so often preach about. Up here in Fairfax county Va we see a huge influx of teachers every year from 3 states…Fla, OH and PA. Want to know where Fla’s best teachers have gone and why the system is in terminal failure? Well we are up here in Fx Co Virginia teachers enjoy a 1st year teacher starting salary of over 50K. The county boasts a graduation rate near 100%, a college admission rate in the 90% range and most of our graduates are making more $$$ 5 years out of high school than most of the citizens of those states that do not understand the supposedly conservative concepts of competitive markets and investment. 50k is the 1st year salary. After 19 years with a masters degree I am at over 90K and worth every penny. ALL of my students go to college and nearly all make even more then me within 5 years. It takes money to make money and if you don’t invest…you lose. Enjoy the sunshine losers cuz you are going to have to sleep in it w/out a roof over your heads ;)

    • Chris Mallilo



    Hello, Do you need finance to consolidate your debt? Do you need funding to help your company get back on track? So I have the best solution for you. If your new business is like most startups, you’re seeking loan somewhere between $5,000 and $5,000,000.00 million to get it off the ground. After exhausting your personal savings and loans from relatives and friends, your first instinct might be to get a bank loan or an SBA loan. Before you act on this instinct, let me tell you about this loan firm i got a loan from same day. SONIA LOAN COMPANY is the right place to be, i got a business loan of $350,000.00 from this firm after been scammed of $1,790.00. But today i am a business owner and my business is fast growing,if you need any type of loan today do not fail to contact this firm because this is the right place to be when seeking for loan help, their interest rate is very low (2%) contact this firm today for your loans through email (gonlineloan@gmail.com)
    and you will be glad you did. Email (gonlineloan@gmail.com )

  • Ester

    I am getting my degree here in Houston. Starting pay for my position (biology teacher 7-12) in PISD a suburb of Houston is 54k. I’m so sorry to hear that so many awesome teachers with years and years of experience are getting paid so little. It’s heartbreaking!!!!
    Wanted to move to Florida for my Master’s program… rethinking it now.

    • Jon K. Wright

      Don’t move there for teaching.

      I will say the kids and the staff are wonderful. Best group of people i have ever worked with. But Florida’s bigwigs do not take care of its own.

  • ???

    Was this passed?

  • Josh Laddin

    Teachers aren’t paid well because the powers that be don’t want a society of educated people.

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »