9 things to know about the $500 million plan to increase Florida teacher starting salaries

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill on Wednesday that will put $500 million toward increasing minimum Florida teacher salaries.

But the plan left many existing teachers with questions as to how the bill will impact their paychecks.

The Florida Education Association pulled together a FAQ related to the bill. Here are nine things they say you should know about it:

READ: Gov. DeSantis signs bill providing $500 million to raise Florida teacher starting salaries to 5th in the nation

  1. The $500 million teacher salary allocation is for the 2020-21 school year.
  2. The bill lays out a minimum starting salary of $47,500, but the FEA said not all new teachers will make that much. “One very important thing to note is the $47,500 figure is an aspirational goal set by the governor and the Legislature over a period of years,” the FEA said. “Very few districts received enough of an investment this year to reach that minimum salary.”
  3. FEA officials said the amount each district will receive is calculated based roughly on enrollment.
  4. FEA officials said 80% of the allocated money is to be used to increase the base minimum teacher salary, with the remaining 20% for those already above the base salary.
  5. New teachers will not make more money that existing teachers, FEA officials said. The bill reads “No full-time classroom teacher shall receive a salary less than the minimum base salary...”
  6. Because of the way the money is being distributed, the FEA said veteran teachers will likely see their pay go up less than those at the bottom of the pay scale.
  7. The bill does not specifically address the salary of school employees who are not teachers, such as other instructional personnel including media specialists and academic coaches, the FEA said. The “minimum base salary” is for classroom teachers.”
  8. The bill states that certified prekindergarten teachers do qualify for the funds from the bill.
  9. Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Cocoran said the bill is the single largest teacher compensation package in the history of Florida.
Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.