After taking a significant cut to education almost two years ago, teachers could see a little more money in their pay check next year. Governor Rick Scott is recommending an across the board salary increase for teachers.
"Today we are here to make another announcement that we are going to double down on that billion dollar investment," announced Governor Rick Scott at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
That billion dollar investment refers to education. Scott announced that he is recommending a 2,500 dollar pay raise for all full-time teachers for the 2013-2014 school year.
Two years ago the Governor cut the education budget by ten percent, which was about ten million dollars from Bay District's budget. Last year, Scott gave one billion dollars back to the education budget.
In preparing his budget proposal for this year, he is recommending 480 million dollars be put towards teacher raises. The money, however, would have to be bargained through the teachers union first in each district.
"We have to meet with the union," explains Deputy Superintendent Sandra Davis. "We have to reach an agreement on things. It wouldn't be as simple as sending a 2,500 dollar check to every teacher in the state of Florida."
For teachers, more money is welcomed, but they're skeptical.
"I'm concerned on how and if it will be equitable," says teacher and president of the teachers union Diane Wishart. "He's already taken the three percent. Is he just giving back what he's already taken."
For the District, money for teacher raises in this years budget leaves concerns for the future.
"Of course in the future, with the financial needs that we have, are there any strings attached? Who's going to pay for it in the next three to five years? What's the long range plan," questioned Davis.
The 2,500 dollar pay raise is recommended in Scott's budget but it would still need to pass the State Legislature before it can be signed into law.