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Gov. DeSantis wants to increase starting salary for teachers in Florida

Posted at 9:49 PM, Oct 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-08 08:36:11-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- Governor Ron DeSantis announced Monday that he wants to raise the starting salary for teachers in Florida. This could potentially help with the teacher shortage in the Sunshine state by encouraging more people to become teachers and to work in Florida.

Right now, the starting salary for teachers in Florida is among the bottom half in the country, but Governor DeSantis wants to make it one of the highest.

“I want to become a teacher because I always had a passion for it, and I love kids, and I feel really strongly about changing their lives in a positive way.” Alexandra Shultz is from Pennsylvania. She is majoring in education at Florida Gulf Coast University.

She is a senior and thinking about where she wants to land her first teaching job. “I want to live in Florida and stay in Florida, but having that kind of salary is really hard to live by.”

The salary she’s referring to is the one DeSantis wants to bump up.

According to the National Education Association, the average teacher salary in Florida is just under $38,000 per year. The Governor wants to raise it just over $47,000.

“It is long overdue for them to recognize the real value of a teacher,” says Dr. Elizabeth Elliott of the FGCU College of Education.

That salary increase would be the second-highest in the nation.

"This is a start of just the tip of the iceberg of what teachers should be paid,“ says Dr. Elliott.

She says that pay is fair and will motivate future teachers to want to work in Florida just like Alexandra Shultz. “Knowing that is being bumped up $10,000 makes me excited to graduate and move on after college and pursue my career,” says Shultz.

The Governor is proposing the money for this will come out of his budget, which he will present to the legislature this January.