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Martin County parents fight for teacher raises

Posted at 9:03 PM, May 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-17 16:50:38-04

Many Martin County parents say they’re all for a property tax increase if it means the money goes to teacher salary increases.

They say right now their teachers aren’t getting paid enough and competitively.

The parents spoke on behalf of the teachers and their kids at a Martin County School Board meeting Tuesday night.

“I’m behind every single one of these teachers who is here to say it is time,” said one parent at the meeting.

Danielle McDonough helped start the group Martin County Parents United.

The group wore red and packed the meeting Tuesday night telling the board that they believe
the proposed property tax increase is money that needs to be allocated specifically for teacher raises.

“We have really good, caring teachers that are being scooped up by other districts because they're not getting a raise. And they’re not seeing a raise in their futures,” said McDonough.

She says the district will get extra funding from the governor’s new school safety bill and believes the money from a tax increase needs to go to teacher pay.

“We’re not going to get highly effect teachers when they can go to West Palm and make 10 thousand more."

The board’s chair Christia Li Roberts responded, pointing out the challenges and that salary increases are reoccurring costs. She said these parents should take their concerns to state lawmakers.

“I feel for you. I think there is a lot of educational pieces that you need to see of how this fits together and what happens to budgeting and how it’s coming to us from Tallahassee,” said Roberts.  

The Martin County School District says their average annual teacher salary for in-classroom teachers is $46,528 for 2016-2017 school year.

Martin County Parents United plans to take their fight to the Martin County Commissioners next.