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DeSoto County teacher salaries will start at $50,000

It beats the state average of $47,500.
DeSoto County School District
Posted at 10:19 PM, May 21, 2024

ARCADIA, Fla. — DeSoto County School District officials say they're making some big strides.

The starting base salary will now be $50,000. The average base salary in Florida is $47,500.

Arcadia Community Correspondent Victoria Scott sat down with a teacher in Arcadia to get more insight.

"It says a lot because a lot of my teacher friends, we have to have a side job, or we had to have a side job in the past just to make ends meet," Evonna Altman told Scott.

The extra pay will help teachers and staff in more ways than one.

"We've started the school year before without even having a contract until midway through," Altman said. "So, it's kind of nice to know what you're making before it actually starts and have everything kind of settled."

Their salaries are settled because the district reached an agreement with the teacher's union on a series of raises.

Plus, every teacher will get a $2,000 raise and a percentage increase based on how long they've been with the district.

District officials said the higher salaries will bring new teachers into the county.

"We haven't really had that in the past," Altman told Scott. "We've sort of had it where people would come, kind of get their feet wet in the teaching profession, and then go on to another district that was more competitive or higher in pay."

District staff said it's a competitive landscape compared to other counties with lower teacher salaries.

Florida teachers make some of the lowest salaries in the country. Earlier this month, Fox 4 was first to report a new study that showed Florida teachers make $16,000 less than the national average.

A big reason teachers are leaving the industry is because of money.

DCSD said the new raises mean a teacher with 15 years experience in Desoto County will make more than teachers in Lee and Sarasota Counties.

DeSoto County school officials told Scott 98 percent of school staff district-wide be back next year.

The salary increases will go into effect in the 2024-2025 academic school year.