Veteran teachers at Leon County schools set to get small pay raise
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Veteran public school teachers in Leon County are set to get a small pay raise.
Leon County School District Superintendent Rocky Hanna says it’s because the Florida Legislature requires that 80% of raise money be used to bring new teachers up to a base salary of $47,000. $.
The 20% breakdown breaks down to $31 per veteran teacher.
“I have the toughest class year ever, whether you’re talking to a five-year-old teacher, a 20-year-old teacher, or a 30-plus teacher, this is the hardest year. toughest they’ve ever had, and to say we’re ratifying this contract with a $31 raise, I think if you’re listening to this then you probably know what your response would have been as well so what we’re ask to do more,” said Leon County Teacher’s Association President Scott Mazur.
It’s this fight for more money in the pockets of Leon teachers with a decade of experience that keeps the Leon County Teachers’ Association and Leon County Schools still in the middle of salary negotiations.
Mazur says he won’t give up until these teachers are properly compensated.
“What’s right is right for the sacrifices people have made to cope with the toughest year ever, and you know we understand that people need something in their pocket, but we have veteran teachers who can’t retire with dignity, they’re not getting a pay raise like before,” Mazur said.
Nearly seven months after the deadline for school districts to have a budget with teacher salaries ready to go, the Florida Board of Education is asking questions.
“We have asked superintendents from these districts to join us today to provide an update on the status of the bargaining process or if they have completed the process to perhaps explain why it has took so long to come to this conclusion,” Jacob Oliva, Florida, the acting commissioner of the Department of Education said.
Appearing before the state board of directors in Key West on Wednesday morning, Hanna highlighted recent changes to how they can distribute money.
“He came with instructions that 80% of those dollars should be allocated to increasing the teachers’ base salary. And then 20% could be spread across the rest of the program,” Hanna said.
New teachers would see an increase of $378 to approximate the new base salary of $47,500 and only $31 for veteran teachers.
With declining enrollment, less money is available to leverage other funds.
But with only a few districts still negotiating, council members want to know why.
“So I think each district, you’ll be looking at individually on a case-by-case basis, because they’ve established the salary grids, some districts have been able to maintain to get to that 47 Five, and if they’re able to get to that base, then that offers a little bit different flexibilities. Some districts have local referendums to help set pay scales. So it’s really not a simple answer,” Oliva said.
Hanna says when it comes to schools in Leon County, her seasoned teachers aren’t happy.
“As far as morale goes and I live with a veteran college teacher, that’s a morale-buster for a lot of people,” Hanna said.