PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)–The future of education is looking bright as Governor Ron DeSantis signs a bill to increase the starting pay for teachers. The law would boost the minimum salaries of teachers to at least $47,500.
In Bay County, the starting teacher salary for the 20-21 school year is $36,750. For teachers with 10 years of experience, the starting salary in the district is $41,250.
Under the Governor’s new law, these salaries are supposed to increase, in some cases by $8,000.
Bay District Schools Superintendent, Bill Husfelt, says he was excited to learn that the Governor moved forward with the bill despite current events.
“It will take time to get everyone else’s salaries in line to where it needs to be but we know this is a huge step to really put the emphasis on teacher pay in the state of Florida,” said Husfelt.
Once the district receives their allocated budget amount, Husfelt says they will work to move all of the other teacher’s salaries up as well.
The local teachers union released the following statement to News 13 in response to the Governor’s action.
“ABCE and FEA would like to thank the Governor for his well-intentioned attempt to raise teachers’ salaries; however, this bill must be regarded as a small down payment for the two decades of systematic defunding our state government has imposed upon us. Yes, hundreds of new teachers in Bay County will be better able to move towards financial stability. Unfortunately, like many programs that come from politicians, this program is more complicated than most people are aware of and does not accomplish all that is being pushed out by the governor’s office. ABCE and BDS will meet at the bargaining table to partner together and work collaboratively, as we always do, in order to provide equity for all Bay County educators.”