Palm Beach County teachers are looking to keep 3% raise for 2016-17 school year

Posted at 12:41 PM, Aug 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-17 12:58:53-04

Coming off a three percent raise, teachers in Palm Beach County are hoping for an equal or greater increase this year.

The Palm Beach County Classroom Teachers Association says it will start bargaining teachers' contracts after the start of the school year and they’re hoping for a quick resolution.

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Superintendent Dr. Robert Avossa says he wants teacher salaries to stay competitive, but says it’s becoming more difficult with declining funds from the state.

“When you get one percent or a 1.25 increase from the state, you can’t turn that one percent into a three percent pay increase,” he says.

If this trend continues, Avossa says the school board will have to make cuts. The teachers’ union says it  wants the board to be more aggressive with the state because Palm Beach County is the highest performing urban district in Florida.

Cuts to the Central Office

Avossa says this year they will see if  $5 million in cuts at the central office will prove to be effective. In February Avossa announced he was eliminating 58 positions and sending the money to the county’s poorest schools.

Within the next week or two Avossa also plans to release grades for district departments. He says if schools are being graded, so should they.

“The folks in this building need to provide better services to the schools and it’s important that not only the schools (are) held accountable with a grade, but each of the departments as well.”