Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill Wednesday, allocating an additional $ 500 million for teacher salaries, raising Florida from the nation’s 26th average teacher salary to number 5.
In a move that DeSantis says he hopes to attract more people to become teachers, he has raised Florida’s K-12 teacher base salary to start at $ 47,500 a year.
“This is a great day for teacher compensation and we look forward to reaching out to teachers,” DeSantis said Wednesday.
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Of the $ 500 million allocated, $ 100 million will go to experienced teachers who already earn more than the average minimum wage. The average teacher salary for the years 2017-2018 was $ 37,636, according to the National Association for Education.
“Obviously you won’t get rich doing it, just like cops don’t get rich, like other things,” DeSantis said. “You do it because you have the heart of a servant.”
The bill also ensures that a school district cannot reduce a teacher’s annual salary below the base minimum.
DeSantis made the announcement from Mater Academy in Hialeah Gardens, a charter school located in Miami-Dade County.
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The bill goes into effect July 1, and the governor assured Floridians that this salary increase will be included “100 percent” in this year’s budget, despite the changes that COVID-19 brought to the financial landscape. of the state.
The bill signed Wednesday is reportedly the largest teacher compensation package in history for the state of Florida.
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DeSantis also applauded Florida teachers for dealing with the coronavirus and teaching virtually.
“It was not an easy transition,” said DeSantis.
“I think Florida did better than any other state,” he added, signaling his innovation and dedication to students at a difficult time.