Florida Governor Rick Scott has 1 billion dollars at his disposal, and the governor is proposing to spend nearly half of that money on teacher pay increase, $480 million. However, here is the catch. Teachers will be given $2500 extra per year if they are rated effective and $3500 extra per year if they are rated highly effective. Senate President Don Gaetz says it shows Florida cares about its schools according to WHJG Florida.
Governor Scott is quoted as saying:
“Here’s the positive. I proposed 480 million dollars in the budget for teacher compensation. There is 480 million dollars that the legislature put in the budget. The positive is the school districts are going to have flexibility. Our teachers, all teachers are going to have the opportunity for pay raise.”
Details of the merit based pay increases are currently being developed and will not be ready until summer of 2014. Currently, the vast majority of Florida teachers are rated at effective and highly effective. This fact has resulted in the Florida Education Association, a Florida based teachers’ union, brandishing this proposal as a “gimmick.”
Florida Education Association president, Andy Ford said:
“It appears that the legislative leaders really don’t like teachers and they don’t want to pay them more money. So they went through these gimmicks to make it look like they’re going to give money but most likely is not going to happen.”
Additionally, administrative and other support personnel have been added to the merit based pay increase initiative.