DeSantis to Raise Teacher Salaries $800M

March 21, 2022 Updated 7:08 PM ET

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March 21st, 2022 Updated 7:07 P.M. ET

WELLINGTON (FCV) – Earlier today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced an $800 million raise in the budget to increase both starting teacher salary and veteran teacher salary. 

“Over the last three years, we have worked hard to increase teacher pay,” DeSantis said.

“We have invested more than $2 billion in teacher pay, and with rising inflation, this could not come at a better time. This will help Florida to recruit and retain great teachers.”

The proposed plan would increase starting teacher salary to $47,500 per year.

When DeSantis took office in 2019, one of his key issues was to solve teacher pay deficits. Since then, the state has invested over $2 billion, with $800 million allocated this year alone. This will bring the average teacher pay in Florida from $38,000 to $47,500.

In a tough labor market where teachers are in high demand, this raise will attract new teachers and retain current ones as well.

DeSantis referenced high Consumer Price Index, gas prices, and grocery costs.

“This is just what school districts have to do. You know, we’re saying you’ve got to pay teachers more with this money. It doesn’t mean that you can’t use some of the other money we’re sending and also do it even more,” said DeSantis

DeSantis said over 90% of districts in Florida have now achieved starting salaries of over $40,000, compared to just 12% nationwide.

However, Florida still ranks 49th overall in average teacher salary nationwide. DeSantis has stated that their focus now is starting teacher salary, but that they will shift their focus to veteran teacher salary going forward.

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