Local teacher associations weigh in on DeSantis proposal to raise minimum salary for teachers

Reaction to teacher wage increase

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - “We’re going to be asking the legislature to increase the minimum starting salary for teachers in this state to $47,500,” announced Governor Ron DeSantis in Clay County on Monday.

DeSantis wants more than 100,000 teachers statewide to receive a raise.

Each school district currently sets its own starting salaries. He says this proposal would lead to more than 100,000 teachers getting a raise from new hires to teachers working under those rates.

“It’s really great to hear that somebody in Tallahassee cares enough to at least talk about it. However, if you don’t raise everybody’s pay, you’re going to find someone brand new making more money than someone who has been teaching for a while,” said Patricia Gardner, President of the Sarasota Classified Teacher’s Association.

Gardner says she wants to see all teachers to get a raise.

“We all need to go farther than that. Raising the average teacher salary, not just the beginning teacher salary,” she said.

In Manatee County, the Manatee Education Association has a different approach.

“Our request is that they put a 10% increase into the base student allocation which raises funding in our school districts and then we can negotiate with our school boards on how that money will be spent for all teacher’s salaries,” said Pat Barber, President of the Manatee Education Association.

While they say there’s still months until the next legislative session, they’re glad to know about this early in order to continue working with local lawmakers.

“Our raising the awareness may have caused the governor to bring this proposal forward because we have already been talking to our legislative delegations,” said Barber.

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