DeLand, FL - The President of Volusia United Educators Elizabeth Albert tells NewsDaytonaBeach.com that House Bill 641, Funds for the Operation of Schools, only applies to classroom teachers and that there are a number of other people who also need to be compensated.
Albert says the $500 million approved in the bill is split 80-20. This means that $400 million will be used to bring classroom teachers only and new hires up to that beginning salary of $47,500. The other $100 million can be used for everyone else. Albert says this includes all support staff and everyone who is not a classroom teacher. "If you are a media specialist, a school counselor, an academic coach, a teacher on assignment, a district content specialist...if you are in any of those supporting positions, you are not included in that 80 percent of the money."
Albert says even though the Governor has signed the bill how it's spent locally still has to be negotiated through the teachers union. She says although it's nice that there's money specifically for teachers' salaries, she points out that the schools can't run without the support professionals. "Our paraprofessionals who help in some of our classrooms and the office specialists that actually do the work of making the school run...there was no mention of money specifically to raise the rates of pay for those folks."
According to a press release from the Governor's office, "This historic increase puts Florida among the best states in the nation for minimum teacher pay, a bold step in alleviating the teacher shortage and elevating the teaching profession to the level of appreciation it deserves."