Governor Rick Scott Announces $2,500 Teacher Pay Raise

January 23, 2013

Scott handshake

ORLANDO – Today, joined by teachers at Ocoee Middle School in Orlando, Governor Rick Scott announced that he is proposing a $2,500 teacher pay raise, in addition to an increase in K-12 education funding, in his upcoming state budget proposal.

Governor Scott said, “Today, I am excited to announce that as we continue to move our state forward and create more jobs, we are doubling down on our investment in education. I can think of no better investment for our state than investing in those teachers who work on the frontline of Florida’s future every day by teaching our children. I am asking the legislature to join with me in supporting my 2013 budget request that will provide every Florida full-time public classroom teacher the ability to receive a $2,500 pay raise.

“My proposed budget will include $480 million in funding to support a $2,500 pay raise for full-time public classroom teachers in our state. This funding will support districts’ ability to provide a $2,500 teacher pay raise, plus the cost of related benefits. This teacher pay raise is in addition to an overall increase in education funding that will be included in our full budget proposal.

“We are at an exciting place in the history of Florida education – in large part due to the hard work of our teachers. Our students and teachers were recently ranked 6th for educational quality. On a recent international reading survey, our fourth-graders scored among the best in the world. And, the National Council on Teacher Quality ranked Florida teachers number one in the country in their 2012 survey.

“Our teachers are working hard to move toward a new set of Common Core State Standards that will help to prepare our students for college and careers. A few months ago, I rolled out my College and Career FIRST plan, which included a number of our proposals to help teachers purchase supplies, instead of using their own money, and to help districts with innovative professional development to help teachers prepare for the new standards.

“Not only should we support our teachers during this transition, but we should also recognize them for the hard work they are putting into preparing our students for college and careers. By 2014, Florida teachers will be a part of our performance pay structure that will help attract and advance the most high-performing teachers in our education system. We believe in teacher accountability and we know our teachers do too. With the new performance system in place, now is the time to increase our investment in Florida’s teachers.”

Governor Scott added, “This $2,500 teacher pay raise will be in my recommended budget, but it still needs to pass the legislature before we can sign it into law. It will also need to be collectively bargained at the district level to be implemented. I look forward to working with educators and leaders at all levels of government and all across our state to make this commitment to Florida teachers a reality.”

Education Commissioner Tony Bennett said, “Student success is driven largely by our talented classroom teachers. To retain talent, we must compensate our educators appropriately. I commend Governor Scott for wanting to raise the salaries of our hard-working classroom teachers.”

State Board of Education Chairman Gary Chartrand said, “We know that quality teachers are the most important factor in student achievement. Adequate compensation is critical to attracting and retaining quality teachers and the Governor’s action clearly illustrates how important teachers are to the success of all our students in Florida.”

Executive Director of the Florida School Boards Association Wayne Blanton said, “We are extremely pleased that the governor has recognized the hard work of teachers throughout Florida and we will work closely with the Governor’s office and the Legislature to ensure that all of our teachers and employees are recognized for their dedication and hard work.”

David Hart, Executive Vice President, Florida Chamber of Commerce said, “A talented workforce is Florida’s best economic development tool toward ensuring businesses can successfully compete in the global marketplace. The Florida Chamber has long-supported paying great teachers more, and applauds Gov. Scott for his initiative to reward Florida teachers.”

Dean Asher, 2013 President, Florida Realtors said, “As I travel the state, I hear far too many stories of teachers who can’t afford to live in the school districts they serve. Florida Realtors applaud the Governor for recognizing the value of those who make such a difference in our children’s lives. In addition to being the role model at school, we want them to also be able to afford to be a neighbor in the community.”

Governor Scott was joined for his announcement today by Orange County Superintendent Dr. Barbara Jenkins, Ocoee Middle School Principal Sharyn Gabriel, and other teachers and education leaders. Dr. Jenkins said, “Teachers in Orange County Public Schools are dedicated professionals who work hard every day to provide quality instruction to nearly 185,000 students. This significant gesture in the Governor’s budget acknowledges their work and the value of public education in the state of Florida.”

Governor Scott visited Ocoee Middle School in September 2012 as part of his Education Listening Tour, which kicked off his education agenda. The Governor previously announced his College and Career FIRST proposals to strengthen Florida’s education system, which included key reforms recommended to him by teachers and parents across the state during his education listening tour.

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  • The Mickster January 24, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Ok people let’s do some reality checking here. Scott is trying to schmooze the electorate as we get closer to the 2014 election. He witnessed the people overwhelmingly re-elect Mr. Obama and Scott knows he put the screws to those same people in FL. Voter suppression, long lines at the poles, 3% state tax on all state affiliated workers for pension – (BTW all that $$ went to the general fund and not to the pension program), Huge tax breaks to corporations and businesses in FL which aided in reduced revenues for our budget, he slashed billions from the education budget, etc… Does he really think that we will be swayed by this stunt? I can’t refer to him as Gov. Scott, Rick Scott, or even Mr. Scott but I have no problem calling him “Dick” Scott.

  • Henry January 24, 2013 at 6:37 am

    “If Gov. Scott thinks $2500 bucks is going to get teachers and parents of students to vote for him, well. I know of a bridge in Brooklyn that is for sale.”

    I don’t know. It looks like Scott bought 4 supreme court justices to keep his state worker pension grab in place, so an attempt to buy teacher votes may not be that far-fetched. The question is: will teachers go along?

  • Westsider January 23, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Can’t wait for this to goto the state legislature.

  • L.Laird January 23, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    If Gov. Scott thinks $2500 bucks is going to get teachers and parents of students to vote for him, well. I know of a bridge in Brooklyn that is for sale.

  • Ames January 23, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    “The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), is a Gates-funded organization dedicated to data-driven, market- oriented “reform.” It sees itself as a part of a coalition for “a better orchestrated agenda” for accountability, choice,
    and using test scores to drive the evaluation of teachers. Its forte is publishing non-peer reviewed opinion pieces under the guise of “policy analysis.” The latest NCTQ opinion piece, “Teacher Quality Roadmap,” (downloadable here) seeks to shape Los Angeles school policy. The worst part of the latest attack on teachers is its saber-rattling statement that “economists recommend that
    districts routinely dismiss at least the bottom-performing 25% of teachers eligible for tenure.” In fact, their source
    simply articulated a “thought experiment” and pulled the 25% figure out of thin air. Moreover, the source, “Assessing
    the Potential of Using Value-Added Estimates of Teacher Job Performance for Making Tenure Decisions,” was a study which was also funded by the Gates Foundation. The study acknowledged its findings were mixed and would “reinforce
    views on both sides of the policy divide over whether VAM estimates of teacher job performance ought to be used for
    high-stakes decisions like determining tenure.” The L.A. Times, however, implied that the NCTQ buried its lede. The Times headline proclaimed that L.A. is wasting $500 million on “pointless training.” It did not question where those numbers came from, however. I had hoped that
    journalists’ suspicions would have been raised by the study’s footnote. The closest thing that the NCTQ came to
    revealing its methodology was their explanation that the $519 million figure came from subtracting a “possible payroll,
    which simply compensated for experience,” from”

  • Funny Math January 23, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    In other words, he cut tax-free money to their pensions and is now replacing it with more pay and IRS taxes.