MIAMI (CBSMiami) – When the state legislature reconvenes next year, they will consider a budget proposal by Gov. Ron DeSantis that includes more than $600 million to raise the minimum salary for teachers.
CBS4’s Joan Murray spoke to parents, teachers and the heads of teacher unions about the salary bump, which has been met with mix reaction.READ MORE: Missing Miami Woman Yennyfer Rodriguez Found
“I think it’s awesome because I taught school for 38 years,” said parent and former teacher Jean Hawkins. “I have a daughter who is still in the system and I think that would just be grand.”
The proposal would raise the minimum salary to $47,500, and would include all classroom teachers who currently earn less than $47,500.
Longtime teachers say they are being left out.
“Experience is priceless. If you don’t value the people that have been in the profession for so long, then what will the new teachers think about coming into this new profession?” said veteran teacher Liliana Ruido.
South Florida teacher union reps say the devil is in the details. The governor is talking about increasing funding for public schools but we haveREAD MORE: Confessed Parkland School Shooter Nikolas Cruz To Plead Guilty Wednesday To Massacre
“The governor is talking about increasing funding for public schools, but we have senators within his own party that are talking about reducing local property taxes, which fund our public schools,” explained Karla Hernandez-Mats, president of the United Teachers of Dade. “So we don’t know where this funding it coming from, but we are hopeful and we want this conversation to continue to exist.”
Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie released a statement on the proposed budget. It read, in part:
“Along with the plan to raise the minimum teacher salary to $47,500, we have to keep in mind that our veteran teachers should also benefit from any salary increase. The $300 million proposed for the new teacher and principal bonus program would be better directed to salary increases, which not only provide greater financial stability for our teachers, but also count towards their retirement at the end of their career.”
In a statement from Broward Teachers Union President Anna Fusco, she said, in part:
“The budget proposal released Monday by Gov. Ron DeSantis falls far short of the investment needed to overcome more than a decade of disinvestment in public schools, and it continues the push for decisions about schools to be made by the state instead of local communities.”MORE NEWS: Arrest Affidavit: Accused Hollywood Cop Killer Jason Banegas Claims He Was Trying To Kill Himself In Struggle With Slain Officer Yandy Chirino
The legislature returns to session in January. So far, the budget is getting mixed reaction from lawmakers. The new budget year will start July 1, 2020.