Facts about Palm Beach County teachers' pay raise

PALM BEACH COUNTY, FLA. - After months of salary negotiations, Palm Beach County teachers are one step closer to a significant raise.

The school district has made a tentative agreement with the teachers union.

The district and the teachers' union say the pending salary increase is set to be the highest in the state.

After six months of give and take, Superintendent Wayne Gent, along with the Palm Beach County School District have agreed to shell out an extra $22.5 million a year to boost teachers' pay.

"We think we put together a great financial package that may not be able to be matched in the state of Florida, our board recognizes the hard work of our teachers, it has been tough economic times for the last several years," said Gent.

All 12,578 teachers are set to get an average raise of 3.41 percent, retroactive to the beginning of the school year.

Debra Wilhelm is the president of the Palm Beach County Classroom Teachers Association.

She says the union hoped for more, but is glad to finally be able to get teachers some extra cash especially this time of year.

"This time we fought a little bit harder and we were able to get a better salary schedule where next year we can step in and be more equitable across the board and teachers will all be getting decent amount of money," she said.

Wilhelm says Palm Beach County teachers have received two raises and one bonus in the last four years, but this plan is the most significant.

All teachers will now have to vote on the plan and ratify the agreement.

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