Rick Scott: Add an Annual $2,500 Per Teacher
Around the State
Gov. Rick Scott will ask legislators for a $2,500 pay hike -- that's more than $48 per week -- for each full-time public school teacher in Florida.
According to prepared remarks for Scott’s appearance at Ocoee Middle School today, Scott also proposed that his budget request to state legislators next week include a request for an overall increase in funding for education.
“I can think of no better investment for our state than investing in those teachers who work on the front line of Florida’s future every day by teaching our children,” Scott’s is quoted in the prepared comments released by the governor’s office.
“The full budget, which we will announce in the next few weeks, will include a total of $480 million for teacher salaries. This funding is enough for a $2,500 pay raise -- plus related benefits -- for all full-time, classroom public teachers.
“It is also important to note that not only will my budget include this $2,500 teacher pay raise, I will propose an overall increase in education funding. We will announce the full budget with even more details on our education investment in the next few weeks.”
Scott had earlier on Wednesday announced that he would be asking lawmakers to designate $480 million for the “across-the-board” teacher pay hike.
Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, spoke on Wednesday of supporting pay raises for teachers as well as other state workers who haven’t seen any pay increase for six years.
“I think that teachers are some government workers who deserve to have better compensation,” Gaetz told the Miami Herald. “But I know corrections officers, I know highway patrolmen ... who deserve a raise. And six years is a long time to wait.”
Scott is expected to propose merit-based pay increases for other state workers.
Last year, Scott's message to lawmakers included $1 billion more in funding for schools than in 2011, but didn’t direct any money toward pay.
Legislators approved the funding request.
In September, during an “education listening tour,” Scott hinted that schools had to do a better job prioritizing how money is used to help teachers.
Reach Jim Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (772) 215-9889.