SARASOTA COUNTY, FL - For the first time since 2008 Sarasota County school workers will be getting a raise. After negotiating with the local union the school board approving a 3.25% pay increase. More than six million dollars from the state coming in to help.
Initially just classroom teachers were supposed to see more money. The school board electing to come up with some extra funds from savings to be able to spread the increases out across all full time workers. "I've just watched everyone take on more over the years as we have had to do more with less," says School Board member Caroline Zucker.
It means more than 5,000 workers will be getting the raise and spending much of the money in the local community says Barry Dubin with the the Sarasota Classified Teachers Association.
"I think the school board employees understood. We were in a major economic crisis in this country. I think people were very patient and understood. We had to wait for the economy to improve a little bit and it has."
School board members like Zucker say they hope the state sets aside the additional funds in the coming years or the increases won't last long.
The Manatee County School District also approved raises with the state money last month.