Florida Governor Pledges Much Needed Pay Boost for Teachers

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has just announced a slew of funding promises for teachers across the Sunshine State. However, not everyone is pleased. 

DeSantis Announces Funding Promises for Teachers

Image Credit: Shutterstock / The Old Major

In a recent press conference in Hialeah, DeSantis proudly announced a nearly $202 million boost in the budget for teacher salaries this year.

Sharp Jabs at Teachers’ Union in Hialeah Press Conference

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Africa Studio

While he celebrated this move, he also took some pretty sharp jabs at the local teachers’ union, United Teachers of Dade, making it clear that the battle over education funding and union power in Florida is far from over.

Accusations Against United Teachers of Dade

Image Credit: Shutterstock / BearFotos

DeSantis didn’t hold back when talking about the United Teachers of Dade. He accused the union of being more focused on politics than on helping kids.

DeSantis Criticizes Union’s Focus on Politics

Image Credit: Shutterstock / zieusin

“That old union in Miami-Dade fought tooth and nail to keep kids locked out of school. They did not want kids in person during Covid, and they’ve worked really hard to push a political agenda, which is not what we need in our schools,” DeSantis said.

Pay Raises In Spite of Unions

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Jirsak

He also made it a point to say, “We’re raising pay in spite of those unions, not because of them.”

Union Membership Under Pressure

Image Credit: Pexels / Kampus Production

The United Teachers of Dade represents 27,000 members and is currently in hot water. Thanks to a new law passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature, unions now need 60% of members to pay dues to stay certified, up from 50%.

Upcoming Recertification Vote for United Teachers of Dade

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Jacob Lund

This has led to a recertification vote, scheduled to take place by mail from August 13 to September 24. The stakes are high, as members have to choose between keeping their current representation, switching to the Miami-Dade Education Coalition, or having no union representation at all.

Mixed Reactions to Pay Raises

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

While DeSantis was upbeat about the pay raises, not everyone is thrilled.

Concerns from Broward Teachers Union President

Image Credit: Shutterstock / wellphoto

Anna Fusco, president of the Broward Teachers Union, pointed out that while new teacher salaries are going up, veteran teachers and support staff are being left in the dust. “The new teacher salary is increasing, which leaves the veteran teachers and support staff at a standstill,” Fusco said.

DeSantis Targets Union Leader’s Salary

Image Credit: Shutterstock / PanuShot

DeSantis also took aim at Karla Hernandez-Mats, the president of United Teachers of Dade, claiming she makes nearly $300,000 a year. Hernandez-Mats shot back, saying her actual salary is $181,723.

Union Vice President Criticizes Governor’s Efforts

Image Credit: Shutterstock / aerogondo2

Antonio “Tony” White, First Vice President of United Teachers of Dade, didn’t mince words as he pushed back against DeSantis’ claims. “We’re facing a concerted effort by right-wing advocates to eliminate teachers’ unions,” White said, criticizing the governor’s approach.

Antonio White on Teacher Salary Decline

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Salivanchuk Semen

He went on to state, “This governor has consistently fallen short in boosting funding here to move Florida up in the rankings. The truth of the matter is teacher salaries have simply declined each and every year in the state of Florida under this governor’s administration.”

DeSantis Highlights $4 Billion Allocation Since 2019

Image Credit: Shutterstock / smolaw

DeSantis claims that since he took office in 2019 nearly $4 billion has been allocated for teacher pay raises, and starting salaries have seen a $10,000 increase.

Florida’s Low Ranking in Teacher Pay

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Song_about_summer

But despite the new budget increase, Florida still ranks poorly in teacher pay. According to the National Education Association (NEA), Florida ranks 50th in the nation for average teacher salaries, at around $53,000, despite ranking 16th for starting salaries at $47,178.

Union’s Argument on Ineffectiveness of Past Moves

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Goksi

The union Florida Education Association (FEA) argues that DeSantis’s past moves have been ineffective, pointing to Florida’s historic low national ranking in average teacher salaries as proof.

Drop in Overall Teacher Pay Ranking

Image Credit: Shutterstock / SFIO CRACHO

When you look at the NEA’s data it reveals that Florida’s overall ranking in teacher pay dropped from 48th to 50th in the past year, indicating that the state seems to be struggling to pay its educators.

FEA President Criticizes Governor’s Portrayal

Image Credit: Shutterstock / wellphoto

FEA President Andrew Spar criticized the governor’s portrayal of the funding boost and backed up Antonio White’s comments. “Teachers can’t afford to be teachers, and all they’re asking for is to be paid enough so that they can pay their bills, go to the doctor when they’re not feeling well, and do their jobs,” Spar commented.

Commitment to Pushing for More Funding

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Pressmaster

DeSantis, for his part, claims he is committed to pushing for more funding. “Florida’s education system is number one in the nation, and we want to make sure good educators are attracted to Florida with attractive compensation,” he said.

A Tough Road Ahead

Image Credit: Pexels / Werner Pfennig

But with ongoing disputes with unions and the broader financial challenges faced by teachers, it’s clear that the road ahead will be rocky.

Remote No More: 19 Companies Returning to the Office

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images

As the pandemic wanes, companies are recalling remote workers back to the office, sparking debates on fairness, costs, and convenience. However, there are also notable productivity, coworking, and mental health benefits to consider. Feeling the effects of these changes? Remote No More: 19 Companies Returning to the Office

8 Costco Must Buys and 8 to Leave Behind

Image Credit: Pexels / Gustavo Fring

Ever wandered Costco’s aisles, questioning if that giant jar of pickles is a real bargain? Or debated buying tires where you get your rotisserie chicken? Welcome to the definitive guide to Costco shopping—a journey to save money, prevent regrets, and offer quirky insights into bulk buying. 8 Costco Must Buys and 8 to Leave Behind

23 Reasons Texas Is the Next Big Thing

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sean Pavone

Texas is becoming a beacon of opportunity, blending cultural heritage with economic growth. From its landscapes to its industries, the Lone Star State offers a dynamic lifestyle. Here are 23 reasons why Texas stands out, attracting entrepreneurs, artists, tech professionals, and families seeking new beginnings. 23 Reasons Texas Is the Next Big Thing

15 Top Sites to Sell Your Unwanted Goods Besides Craigslist

Image Credit: Shutterstock / GaudiLab

Selling your unwanted items can declutter your space and boost your income. While Craigslist is popular, there are many alternatives with unique features and wider audiences. Explore these 15 Craigslist alternatives for selling everything from furniture to electronics, finding the perfect platform to turn clutter into cash. 15 Top Sites to Sell Your Unwanted Goods Besides Craigslist

Work from Anywhere: 19 Companies Still Supporting Remote Work

Image Credit: Shutterstock / insta_photos

Tired of commuting and craving work flexibility? You’re not alone. Many companies now offer remote work, benefiting both employees and employers. Ever wondered how this shift could enhance your work-life balance? Work from Anywhere: 19 Companies Still Supporting Remote Work

The postFlorida Governor Pledges Much Needed Pay Boost for Teachers first appeared on Liberty & Wealth.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Drazen Zigic.

The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.

Leave a Comment