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Key senator files teacher pay proposal

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With Gov. Ron DeSantis pushing to set a $47,500 minimum salary for public-school teachers, a key senator this week filed a bill aimed at increasing teacher pay.

The proposal (SB 1088), filed by Senate Education Chairman Manny Diaz Jr., R-Hialeah, does not specifically address a minimum teacher salary.

It is written more broadly, saying that a “teacher salary enhancement allocation” would be included in the 2020-2021 state budget and that school districts would use money from that allocation to increase teacher salaries.

“A school district that meets the teacher salary enhancement requirements specified in the General Appropriations Act (the budget) may use any additional funds provided in the allocation for any district operating expenditure,” the bill said.

DeSantis’ $602 million plan to set a minimum teacher salary likely will be one of the highest-profile issues of the 2020 legislative session, which starts Jan. 14.

House and Senate leaders will consider the issue as they negotiate a budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.