Teacher negotiations across Fla. ongoing

Teachers wait for pay increase months after lawmakers made extra money available

Author: Matt Horn, Reporter, Capitol News Service
Published On: Dec 04 2013 04:36:10 PM EST
School Budget Money
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

Teachers across the state are still waiting for a pay increase months after lawmakers made extra money available. Districts say the governor's recommendation is difficult when the math doesn't add up.

Fourteen of Florida's 67 school districts still haven't given raises to teachers. Gov. Rick Scott pushed for teacher increases earlier this year.

"We need to do an across the board $2,500 pay raise for each and every one of our classroom teachers," Scott said in April.

At one of Florida's smallest districts, administrators have been negotiating over how much of a raise teachers will get. Jefferson County schools have had a hard time reaching an agreement because they say the math doesn't add up.

"It comes to around $1,600, so the governor never sent down $2,500 for each teacher," said Robert Lloyd, CFO of the Jefferson County School District.

School districts were given the money to give every teacher a raise in July, but one out of every three districts has yet to deliver on the promise of a raise.

State Rep. Halsey Beshears voted in favor of the pay increase for teachers. He said he's disappointed teachers in his home town still haven't received pay increases.

"I do understand there are two sides to every story, but, these teachers deserve the raises," said Beshears. "They should have had this done before the school year started."

Mark Pudlow, spokesman for the state's largest teacher union, said there are a number of reasons the 14 counties cut a deal on the increase.

"In some places the contract negotiations go well and go quickly," said Pudlow. "In other places its a little more contentious."

After a contract agreement is made, teachers will receive back pay to the beginning of the school year.

About $480 million was allocated to school districts earlier this year for the raises.