Teacher raises consist mostly of bonuses; base pay increase is far below inflation
BY JENNIFER CABRERA
Members of the Alachua County Education Association have until March 9 to make a decision on whether to ratify a salary package that was accepted by union leadership on February 23. The package was announced as “historic” by the district because the dollar value is over twice the previous record of $4.5 million.
The salary package we received via public records request came to $9,533,476 (we have been told this is an “old copy,” although it was provided to us by the school district after the announcement was made; however, the compensation amounts shown in the document have been confirmed as accurate), not the $10.5 million listed in the media release, so this analysis is based on the $9.5 million package. $1.5 million of the funds come from the district’s general fund, and $8 million come from federal funds (ESSER).
The actual raise in base salary for teachers is $357/year. The pay scale will now start at $44,500 for new teachers, increasing to $46,060 with 10 years of experience, $53,397 with 20 years of experience, $61,951 with 30 years of experience, and maxing out at $74,089 with 42 years or more of experience.
Teachers who are rated “effective” get an add-on of $45/year, and teachers who are rated “highly effective” get an add-on of $90/year.
Educational support, professional & technical, and administrative personnel will get a $0.24/hour raise in most cases, paid retroactive to the beginning of the school year.
Teachers received a $1,000 bonus from the state in August of 2021, and they are eligible for three more bonuses if the package is approved. All Instructional and Educational Support personnel will get a $1,250 bonus on March 15 (if they were employed by January 10, 2022), and teachers with 10 or more years of experience will receive an additional $1,000 bonus on March 15. A pro-rated payment of the $357/year increase will also be paid on March 15 to catch teachers up on the missed pay since the beginning of the school year.
Instructional and educational support personnel are also eligible for a $1,000 training bonus if they complete the Youth Mental Health First Aid and KnowBe4 Security Awareness Training. Those bonuses will be paid on either June 30 or August 15, depending on the date of completion for the trainings.
For veteran teachers rated as “highly effective,” the total annual increase (including the $727 for the additional year of experience that they received at the beginning of the school year) is $5,424, but only $1,084 of that will carry over to next year’s salary (plus the annual step increase of $727). So, for example, a teacher with 15 years of experience and rated “highly effective” who completes the trainings will make $53,812 this year but will drop to $50,318 next year.
A teacher in their first year who is rated “effective” and completes the trainings will make $47,795 this year, but that pay will drop to $44,500 next year.
The school board’s presentation (image above) say the increase will be 11% “as a percentage of base pay” for a teacher with 15 years’ experience, but the increase in base pay itself is actually 0.725% (less than 1%, far below the current 12-month inflation rate of 7.48%). Teachers with 10 or more years of experience will also get the step increase of $727 in the fall, so the fall “raise” (actually a decrease from this year’s pay, as explained above) for a teacher with 15 years’ experience will be 2.2% plus whatever they negotiate in next year’s salary package. Teachers with less than 10 years’ experience will see the smaller 0.725% increase, about 1/10 of current inflation rates, because the step increases begin at 10 years’ experience.
In the press release from the district, the package was described by ACEA President Carmen Ward as “an offer we couldn’t refuse.” Former Superintendent Dr. Carlee Simon said, “We were all committed to getting our hardworking employees the significant pay increases they deserved and getting those dollars out to them quickly as possible.”
DEFINITELY FAR LESS THAN THE INFLATION of current federal leadership.
Todays inflation rate 7+% > .725%.
If you understand 7% is greater than .725% thank a teacher. If you think an equitable distribution of educational fund distribution exists in Alachua County between district personnel and school based personnel – have I got some ocean front property for you.
The counties in Florida, as a whole, do not care about teacher pay nor about funding education. As an ex-teacher, I cannot tell you how much money myself and my fellow teachers paid of our own money to buy supplies for the classroom. Seems like education is an afterthought when it comes to funding.
Teachers need more money and more respect. Our society, as a whole, does not respect what teachers have to do everyday. If you disagree, go be a substitute teacher for a week and see how disrespectful the majority of the kids are to the teachers. The disrespect just mirrors the disrespect that our society has for teachers.
“How dare you discipline Johnny. Johnny is a wonderful child that would never do anything wrong”
We need to videotape classrooms so parents can see how their sweet innocent kids behave.
Also, take the damn phones away!!!! All Johnny and Betty do during class is text and stare at their phones. If you take their phones away, the ignorant parents lose their minds.
Lack of pay, lack of parental help as well as the state B.S. are some of the reasons I decided to quit.
Got tired of swimming upstream everyday.
Sounds just like my teaching experience in another county, but we were paid slightly better than Alachua County.
Florida ranks 3rd in the country for student achievement, and Alachua county students often perform at the top in national STEM and spelling bees, even in the arts. So, teachers deserve at least a COLA increase, now. Notice the union’s Feb. 23rd vote was the day *before* Russia invaded Ukraine? They must have been told by the DC teacher union leaders what was happening, next.