A welcome boost in funding for schools
When Florida's Republican State legislature finalized negotiation of its annual budget on March 9, it was clear that politicians recognized a need for more money to be spent on schools.
The final proposed budget still needs to be approved by the state senate and then the governor, but the proposals for funding of schools look good as far as teachers are concerned.
More money for pupils and teachers
The Florida Education Association (FEA) has praised the new budget for boosting the money that public schools will receive to enhance the experience of pupils and to increase the salary of teachers and support staff. The headline figures are as follows:
- An increase to the base student allocation by $214.49 per pupil
- A new minimum wage of $15 an hour for all state employees which will benefit many support staff in schools
- A $250 million budget for salary increases for teachers which will be awarded by school districts.
FEA President Andrew Spar remarked that the increases represent a “real step forward” and mark the start of a "decade of progress". He also had this to say:
“We continue to be laser-focused on the fact that our schools need more teachers and support staff to provide students with the high-quality education they deserve and need."
It truly seems like the state's politicians are keen to do everything they can to help teachers and to lure new people into the profession. Earlier this year, another proposal was being considered to give tax breaks to various professions, again including teachers.
Compensation for teachers?
While the funding increases are certainly good news, many teachers may well feel that the additional money is compensation due to them for having to implement many controversial laws that the state senate and Governor DeSantis have already passed. These include:
- Implementing the controversial "Don't Say Gay" bill (as it's become known), and the requisite censoring of books carried by school libraries
- The proposal to ban teaching of critical race theory
- Measures to financially penalize schools that enforce mask mandates for kids
- Proposals to install surveillance cameras and microphones in classrooms
Considered against these measures then, it would seem like teachers are going to have a lot more to deal with, and probably deserve the extra money being directed towards them!
What do you think of proposals to push so much money towards schools and teachers in Florida? Are you in favor or against? Do you think this is even enough? Let me know in the comments section below.