Gov. Rick Scott announced today that he is proposing a $2,500 teacher pay raise, in addition to an increase in K-12 education funding, in his upcoming state budget proposal.
“Today, I am excited to announce that as we continue to move our state forward and create more jobs, we are doubling down on our investment in education. I can think of no better investment for our state than investing in those teachers who work on the frontline of Florida’s future every day by teaching our children,” Scott said in a press release. “I am asking the legislature to join with me in supporting my 2013 budget request that will provide every Florida full-time public classroom teacher the ability to receive a $2,500 pay raise.
“My proposed budget will include $480 million in funding to support a $2,500 pay raise for full-time public classroom teachers in our state. This funding will support districts’ ability to provide a $2,500 teacher pay raise, plus the cost of related benefits. This teacher pay raise is in addition to an overall increase in education funding that will be included in our full budget proposal.
“We are at an exciting place in the history of Florida education – in large part due to the hard work of our teachers. Our students and teachers were recently ranked 6th for educational quality. On a recent international reading survey, our fourth-graders scored among the best in the world. And, the National Council on Teacher Quality ranked Florida teachers number one in the country in their 2012 survey.
“Our teachers are working hard to move toward a new set of Common Core State Standards that will help to prepare our students for college and careers. A few months ago, I rolled out my College and Career FIRST plan, which included a number of our proposals to help teachers purchase supplies, instead of using their own money, and to help districts with innovative professional development to help teachers prepare for the new standards.
“Not only should we support our teachers during this transition, but we should also recognize them for the hard work they are putting into preparing our students for college and careers. By 2014, Florida teachers will be a part of our performance pay structure that will help attract and advance the most high-performing teachers in our education system. We believe in teacher accountability and we know our teachers do too. With the new performance system in place, now is the time to increase our investment in Florida’s teachers.”
Scott added, “This $2,500 teacher pay raise will be in my recommended budget, but it still needs to pass the legislature before we can sign it into law. It will also need to be collectively bargained at the district level to be implemented. I look forward to working with educators and leaders at all levels of government and all across our state to make this commitment to Florida teachers a reality.”
For the complete story, see the Jan. 31 issue of Navarre Press or subscribe online.