SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -Sarasota County school teachers will soon receive a pay raise.
The Sarasota Classified/Teachers Association and Sarasota County School District reached an agreement on a contract that would give all teachers at least a 3.5 % pay raise and increase the starting teaching salary to $47,500. The agreement should be ratified on Nov. 10 and teachers should get their retroactive pay from the beginning of the school year by the end of November.
The state will be funding the pay increase as part of their initiative to increase teachers salaries across the state. Earlier this year Governor Ron DeSantis announced the state would allocate $500 million to increase teachers pay, with the goal of raising the teacher starting salary to $47,500. Sarasota County School District received about $7.8 million dollars from the state to do this.
Sarasota Classified/Teachers Association’s Executive Director, Barry Dubin, said he hopes increasing the starting salary will motivate more people to go into the teaching profession. He said over the years it has been increasingly hard to find teachers.
“I think what happen is years ago when the legislature tightened up, they did away with tenure, they did away with a lot of those things. They made the pension less desirable. I think all of those things and the erosion of power of teachers, all of those things have made it more and more difficult for people to make a decision to go into teaching,” said Dubin.
According to The Florida Department of Education, Sarasota County School District is the highest paying school district in the state for teachers. The average teacher makes $59,214 a year. Dubin says the settlement will help keep the district the highest paying in the state.