TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis wants Florida teachers to make more money.
On Monday, he announced a proposal to increase the minimum salary for teachers across the state to $47,500.
According to the governor's office, this would affect more than 101,000 teachers statewide.
Currently, the starting teacher pay in Florida is $37,636, according to the National Education Association.
Gov. DeSantis is asking the State Legislature to approve an addition $600 million in education spending to increase the minimum salary for teachers.
The governor said this in a statement:
"We are experiencing a teacher shortage in Florida. With a strong economy and plenty of jobs available in other fields, unfortunately too many college graduates are unwilling to enter the teaching profession. My proposal to increase the minimum salary for teachers to $47,500 will help alleviate this shortage and elevate the teaching profession to the level of appreciation it deserves. This is long overdue, and I look forward to working with the legislature to make this a reality."
Today, I announced my proposal to increase the minimum salary for teachers in FL to $47,500. This will help alleviate the teacher shortage in our state and elevate the profession to the level of appreciation it deserves. This is long overdue. More here – https://t.co/msPFdCMgJF pic.twitter.com/Uik9W3b013— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) October 7, 2019
"It opens up a huge pool of applicants from all over the country," said Susan Onori, the principal at Imagine Chancellor Charter School in Boynton Beach. "When you are interviewing someone and not to start out and say, well you know, and making excuses."
"To live down here on your own it is nearly impossible," said teacher Angela Dolci, who said the raise will help. "Teachers are not here for the money. If we were here for the money, we would not be in Florida."
The Florida Education Association is concerned with where the money will come from, and that will be addressed in the next Legislative Session which starts in January.
Education has been a top priority for Gov. DeSantis since he took office in January.
Earlier this year, he announced a plan to eliminate Florida's controversial Common Core program, which will remain in place until at least Jan. 1, 2020.
In February, he laid out a proposal to offer more scholarship opportunities to students with special needs.
Then in April, he outlined his goal to clear the wait list for Florida's Tax Credit Scholarship program. The program is designed to give low income students better educational opportunities that they normally wouldn't get because of limited financial resources.