OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — In 2021, the Florida Legislature approved a $1000 bonus for some teachers as part of a $215 million funding package.
Those bonuses, while desperately needed, didn’t apply to all teachers. And even then, they were not enough to keep up with the cost of living.
In Osceola County, teachers received between $1250 and $1650 in bonuses as part of this year’s contract between the district and the Osceola County Education Association.
Then in July, the Osceola County school board voted to give district employees a $500 bonus.
With gas prices, rent hikes, and food prices, many teachers say they will need a raise or be forced to leave for better-paying jobs.
Janet Moody has been a teacher in Osceola County for 31 years and says between the cost of living and the workload educators face, those bonuses are still not enough.
“Our profession is not looking so great,” Moody said.
According to the Osceola County Education Association, the base salary of a full-time teacher in Osceola County is $48,500.
The association is asking district leaders for an 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment to raise educators’ salaries permanently.
An online petition has already garnered 1,500 supporters.
Meanwhile, the district would not address the association’s demands specifically but said they are currently in negotiations.
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