BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – For the third year in a row, the state legislature and Governor Ron DeSantis have raised teacher salaries in Florida. The new $800 million budget represents an increase of $250 million over last year’s funding for teachers.
Locally, Bay District school officials tell us they’re always happy to hear about more state money for teacher salaries.
“The current (starting) salary is $45,621, I think. The average (salary) right now is about $51,000, I believe, and that’s without any increases for the coming year,” Bay District Schools Chief Financial Officer Jim Lloyd said.
And pay raises are exactly what teachers are about to see.
“In the coming year we have another I believe $1.7 million,” Lloyd said.
That money comes from DeSantis’ new $800 million budget. This will help raise the minimum teacher salary and increase salaries for veteran teachers in the state.
“It’s obviously a goal that teachers want and that we want too,” Lloyd said.
A Desantis goal is to get the teacher’s starting salary up to $47,500 in the state.
“We’re really looking forward to hitting the number as well,” Lloyd said.
Officials said they were optimistic because that’s what teachers deserve.
“Obviously, teachers are the cornerstone of this, so trying to raise those salaries and recruiting and retaining great teachers has always been our goal,” Lloyd said.
District officials said negotiations for teachers’ new salaries would not begin until they begin receiving the $1.7 million from the state.
“I’m pretty limited in what specifics I can give, but I can tell you and we’ve said this publicly before, that we’re very optimistic about our ability to hit $47,500 this year,” Lloyd said.
Officials said they have tried to move negotiations forward, but expect them to begin in the coming weeks. Negotiations could last a few months, but officials said teachers can expect to see an increase next year.
“Now whether it’s day one or sometimes it gets pushed back to September, October before we finally settle down. But hopefully we can do it a little faster,” Lloyd said.
The new budget will move the state from 26th to 9th nationally for teacher salaries.
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