NCFL teachers feel DeSantis’ $1 billion teacher pay raise proposal is an ‘empty promise’

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 11:42 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Some teachers in North Central Florida are not hopeful about the latest promise of a pay raise.

Governor DeSantis is proposing $1 billion to increase teacher pay for the 2023-2024 school year.

In today’s announcement, DeSantis boasted raising minimum teacher salaries to $47,500.

“I’ll tell you here in Levy County that’s not true,” said Kimberly Hudson, President of Levy County Education Association. “Our beginning teacher pay, we just got it this year, to 46,000. I was a little disheartened to hear him say that he had met that, because in a lot of rural counties we’re not at 47,500 across the state.”

The proposal of $1 billion is an increase of $200 million form the prior year.

“You can have one teacher can make a huge difference in the lives of these students and we’re recognizing that, and we’re gonna make sure we do everything to make Florida continue to be the education state,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis.

However, after not all teachers got the raise they were expecting in 2020, some don’t have much hope.

“We have now in our district teachers with nine or 10 years of experience earning about the same amount of money as teachers who are new to our district,” said Tina Certain, Chair of Alachua County School Board.

As a veteran teacher, that is what happened to Kimberly Hudson.

“My daughter also teaches here at Joyce Bullock and she’s in her fifth year, I’m in my 21st. She now makes 2,000 dollars less than me with 21 years of experience,” said Hudson.

However, in his most recent announcement, DeSantis said school district officials can prioritize the new $200 million however they choose to.

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