Governor Rick Scott Gives Florida Teachers $234 Million In Bonuses
For the next three years, Florida teachers will see annual bonuses of $1,200 or $800 depending on their evaluation as "Highly Effective" or "Effective" thanks to a massive education bill signed by Governor Rick Scott on Friday.
The teachers' bonus will be paid out of state funds, thereby relieving financial pressure on local school districts' budgets for teacher raises.
71% of Brevard Public School teachers were ranked "Highly Effective" and 29% were ranked "Effective," according to data from the Florida Department of Education.
At Brevard Public Schools, teachers' salaries currently range from $3,922 to $5,988 a month under their 10-month contract. With the additional state bonus for very effective teachers, their salaries will now range from $4,042 to $6,108, which is well above the average monthly wage of $3,899 for all residents in Brevard County.
But despite earning higher monthly salary than most residents in Brevard County, some teachers say that they are struggling to make ends meet, according to a recent Florida Today article.
The bill also provides the highest per student K-12 funding in state history, increasing funding by $100 per student.
“When I was growing up, I had access to a good quality education, and every Florida child should have the same opportunity," Governor Scott said. "Florida’s K-12 education system is so important to the future of our children and our state, and we will never stop looking for ways to improve how our students learn and achieve.”
Under Governor Scott's administration, state funding for Florida’s K-12 public schools has increased by nearly $3 billion or 34 percent from a total amount of $8.7 billion in 2011 to $11.7 billion in this year’s budget.
Since taking office, Governor Scott has signed legislation providing flexibility and more than $450 million in funding to Florida’s high performing charter schools, allowing these schools to grow and serve more students.