ORLANDO (CBSMiami/NSF) – Gov. Rick Scott has sent a message to the state Board of Education about the importance of his proposed pay raise teachers.

In a letter to the board’s chairman, Gary Chartrand, presented to board members at Monday’s meeting in Orlando, Scott emphasizes his backing of a $2,500 pay raise for classroom teachers.

“The hard choices we made to get our economy back on track over the last two years have positioned us to strategically invest in statewide priorities that will encourage job creation for generations to come,” Scott said in the letter.

Scott has proposed spending $480 million on the across-the-board pay raises. He’s also recommending increasing spending on school supplies by $14 million.

Scott’s proposal has received a lukewarm reception in the Legislature, where many lawmakers want to focus on merit pay for teachers. But Scott said the state’s teachers overall earned the highest national grade for quality on a national review and its test scores and graduation rates are on the rise, which would appear to show the state’s teachers are doing a good job, generally.

He also noted that the state already has removed tenure, and that performance pay will go into effect in 2014 above and beyond any across-the-board raise, and that he was committed to that, too.

“Investments in education will continue to drive economic growth in our state,” Scott said in the letter. “Our teachers are the cornerstone of educational success.”

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.


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