JASONVILLE, Florida — extra funding for instructors. In Florida, over the last three years, it was included in legislation, so it wasn’t simply a hope. But who exactly received the cash?
According to Florida law, the lowest teacher wage is $47,500, thus for many instructors, this is a significant raise. Even a Ron DeSantis campaign ad made a major point of the rise in teacher salary.
Part of the advertisement reads, “Governor DeSantis has delivered for Florida families with historic k-12 funding and higher teacher pay,” and you can view the entire advertisement here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oyzy0A5bKj4 After hearing the advertisement, Stephanie Rowe responds, “Not for everyone, maybe for new teachers, new employees.” With ten years of experience in the classroom, Rowe teaches science in St. Johns County. When the governor initially suggested teacher salary hikes in 2020, she and many of her coworkers were enthusiastic.
Since that was stated, Rowe recalled, “I can tell you I’ve only got what the district supplied and its small. I remember reading about that in the news and collectively everyone teaching said, what about us.”
The pay raise for teachers primarily benefited new teachers. All full-time teachers in Florida are entitled to the minimum base compensation of $47,500, according House Bill 641 of the Florida Legislature. Substitute and associate teachers are not included in this. However, what about seasoned educators like Rowe?
According to the contract between the St Johns County School District and the St Johns Education Association (the county’s teachers union), salary raises are based on experience and length of service.
The National Education Association estimates that Florida will rank as the ninth highest paying state in the nation for new teachers once the state’s minimum wage for teachers reaches $47,500.
With a starting teacher pay of $38,692 per year, Georgia is ranked 37th out of the 50 states, more than $3,000 below the national average.