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Who is to blame for low teacher pay?

If given the choice, most parents would choose for their child to have a professionally-trained and experienced teacher because they know that like any other profession experience matters.

Certain politicians, however, have other plans. Over the past decade they have passed law after law which target experienced teachers by preventing them from getting the salary increases they deserve. That is why the median salary for Florida teacher is less now than it was in 2015-16 even without adjusting for inflation!

Let’s be very clear: the teacher pay laws over the past few years were designed intentionally to punish experienced teachers.

At the May 2022 meeting of the State Board of Education, Board Member Ryan Petty was very clear the teacher experience penalty is what current legislators and the governor want.

Petty had this to say to superintendents who suggested the 20+ laws around teacher pay were having the unintended consequence of teachers with 10 or more years of experience receiving the same salary as a beginning teacher: 

“The Legislature very deliberately did what they did. They raised pay in the way that they did. And the Governor did that. And they are doing it again!” 

Current policymakers know the harm they have caused because it was their intent all along to push out Florida’s experienced teachers. These policymakers will not be happy until every teacher in the state is on an annual contract.

When educators come together across the state of Florida to demand an end to the teacher experience penalty, we can elect politicians who will undo the 20+ rules and laws that target experienced teachers.

The numbers speak for themselves. Since 2010 the number of teacher vacancies has skyrocketed and there are thousands fewer students studying to be teachers.  Meanwhile, teacher’s salaries. In 2010, Florida’s teacher salaries were competitive with the rest of the nation, but they have now plummeted to the bottom. 

Click on a flyer below to access the full-resolution version which you can print out and share with others to share the word about root causes of low pay for Florida’s teachers.

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