TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – During a stop at an Orlando area school on Wednesday, Governor Rick Scott unveiled a proposal which would give a pay increase of $2,500 to every full time teacher in the state.
Scott, whose budget is due to lawmakers by Feb. 3, called on the Legislature last year to raise education funding by $1 billion. They did.
Scott’s raise for teachers would cost an estimated $480 million. The increases would also have to be approved by local school board.
“I think the governor is recognizing the value of our classroom teachers and the public education system in Florida,” said Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee, who is also executive director of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents. “We all know there is a direct correlation between the state’s education and good jobs.”
Andy Ford, president of the Florida Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, said Tuesday the union has not been in contact with the governor’s office over the salary proposal and it was early in the budget process.
“We just have to see what the details are,” Ford said. “It’s not as simple as just saying you want to increase salaries. You have to provide enough funding through the (basic state school spending program) to allow school districts to do it.”
Scott also wants to create a program that would allow teachers, who often spend their own money on students, to get debit cards tied to the school system with which they could purchase supplies.
There are about 168,000 teachers statewide.
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