Following extensive pressure from educators and state lawmakers, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed a plan in his 2020 state budget to raise teacher pay to historically high levels.
The governor’s announcement came this morning in Middleburg, alongside Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, and Senate Appropriations Chair Sen. Rob Bradley.
The proposed wage hike, which DeSantis says is for “recruiting and retaining” quality teachers, would raise starting pay to a $47,500 “minimum,” and would impact 100,000 teachers statewide.
Today, I announced my proposal to increase the minimum salary for teachers in FL to $47,500. This will help alleviate the teacher shortage in our state and elevate the profession to the level of appreciation it deserves. This is long overdue. More here – https://t.co/msPFdCMgJF pic.twitter.com/Uik9W3b013
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) October 7, 2019
The new proposal comes just a week after Sen. Bradley filed SB 440, which would end the “Best and Brightest” teacher bonus program.
“We are experiencing a teacher shortage in Florida,” said Governor DeSantis. “With a strong economy and plenty of jobs available in other fields, unfortunately too many college graduates are unwilling to enter the teaching profession. My proposal to increase the minimum salary for teachers to $47,500 will help alleviate this shortage and elevate the teaching profession to the level of appreciation it deserves. This is long overdue, and I look forward to working with the legislature to make this a reality.”
DeSantis’ proposal did not say if the new pay bump will affect longtime veteran teachers who are underpaid and make more than $47,500.
If the governor’s new $603 million proposal clears all the perceived hurdles in Tallahassee, Florida would go from the 26th in the country for teacher starting salaries, to the 2nd highest overall.
Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.