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Palm Beach County voters say yes to more teacher pay

Posted at 5:38 PM, Nov 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-07 18:57:57-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. -- Voters said yes to increasing their property taxes to give the Palm Beach County School District $150 million more a year for retaining specialty teachers, school safety, and mental health.  Half of it will also go to increasing teacher pay. 

The so-called supplement is based on how many years a teacher has taught.  For some teachers, this equates to a big percentage of their salaries. 

“It’s probably about a 25 percent increase in my pay overall,” said Eric Jourgensen, a teacher at Seminole Ridge High School. 

Jourgensen teaches three subjects and is in his 14th year.  He’s a father to three kids. The bump is significant. 

“More money to do things, whether its summer vacation, repairing things around the house, or getting new cars that need to be fixed,” he said. 

The annual supplement is based on teaching experience. One to four years equates to $1,000 annually. Five to nine years is $5,000. And 10 years or more, is $10,000. 

Justin Katz, the president of the Classroom Teacher’s Association, said the change will be notable. 

“The normal turnover that leads to 1,200 plus teachers being hired each year will be cut significantly, which means we are retaining talent or attracting high-quality talent,” he said. 

This goes into effect in August 2019. The supplement will be paid and spread out in regular paychecks for teachers.