Teacher Pay Increases To Be Negotiated - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Teacher Pay Increases To Be Negotiated

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Bay District Schools educators could see a larger paycheck this school year, but potential pay raises may not add up to what the state originally promised.

Governor Rick Scott intended to reward teachers for their hard work with a $2,500 pay raise. The legislature increased the state's education budget this year providing about $480 million dollars for raises.

Of that, about $450 million is allocated for Bay District Schools. However, the Association for Bay County Educators President Diane Wishart said that's not nearly enough to meet the promise. The money was originally calculated for classroom teachers, but the state expanded who is eligible to include positions like administrators, librarians, and guidance counselors.

Wishart also said the raises may be determined on teacher performance, which isn't exactly fair.

"Our students do better, but yet the state raises the bar. So, then they say you're not performing as well. We are performing better. Teachers are doing an awesome job."

Although, it's unknown how much money or when teachers could see any, many are excited for any extra funds.

"We're all thankful for our jobs, and we're always very grateful for any support financially that we see coming our way, and many times it ends up back in the classrooms so it really does help children in the end," said Kathy Metcalf, a first grade teacher at Tyndall Elementary School.

Wishart said the association plans to negotiate the compensation funds as a recurring salary increase instead of a one-time bonus. The association is expected to sit down with the district in the next few weeks to negotiate the raises.