Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has delivered on his “bold” yet “ambitious goal” of providing significant pay increases for Florida’s educators. Even in the face of fiscal hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the governor kept his word, enacting legislation setting aside an additional $500 million to increase teacher pay.
Lauded by the Miami Herald for “put[ting] his commitment to increased teacher pay in ink” and the Sun Port Charlotte Editorial Board for not allowing a pandemic to “force him to take it back,” Governor DeSantis committed $400 million to boost the minimum salaries for full-time teachers, and an additional $100 million in pay raises for veteran teachers and instructional personnel. The governor’s action guarantees that the minimum salary for all teachers will be $47,500 – the fifth highest in the nation.
This highly competitive starting salary makes Florida a more attractive destination for talented educators across the country, and also highlights the governor’s appreciation to the hardworking educators who have guided students through unprecedented challenges this year.
“Our teachers stepped up and found ways to keep our students learning and engaged these last few months to ensure students continued to receive the best education in the nation,” said Governor DeSantis. “They taught classes virtually; they made sure lesson materials were delivered; they committed to their students. Great teachers are what our students need as they re-enter the classroom in the fall, and that’s why this remained a major priority in our budget.”
In addition to providing teachers with a much-needed raise, Governor DeSantis’ fiscal stewardship also enabled the state to keep in place $249 million in pay raises for all of Florida’s 90,000 state workers.