DeSantis Announces Historic $1.25 Billion for Teacher Pay Raises in Florida

DeSantis Announces Historic $1.25 Billion for Teacher Pay Raises in Florida

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has announced a record $1.25 billion in funding for teacher salaries in the upcoming 2024-25 fiscal budget. This marks a significant increase of nearly $200 million from the previous year's budget. Since 2019, Florida has invested over $4 billion in teacher pay increases, raising the starting teacher salary from approximately $39,000 to nearly $48,000. The average teacher salary in Florida now exceeds $54,000. Education Commissioner Manny Diaz praised the administration's efforts, highlighting the prioritization of teachers and students.

However, the announcement comes amid criticism from teachers' unions. DeSantis has accused teachers' unions, particularly the United Teachers of Dade, of pushing a political agenda and contributing to education issues in the state. The union narrowly avoided decertification last year for not meeting a 60% membership threshold. Critics, including the Florida Education Association, argue that the emphasis on starting salaries has led to pay compression and contributed to a teacher shortage, which saw 9,000 vacant positions in 2022. Additionally, there has been controversy over increased funding for private school vouchers, with only $2.3 billion of the 2023 education budget allocated towards public education.

Summary

Other news in politics