ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – The Pinellas County school board negotiated with teachers on Tuesday to reach an agreement for a salary increase.
In the new agreement, teachers would receive an average pay increase of 3.25 percent and a starting salary of $45,000 — up from around $43,000 in 2018.
8 On Your Side reported in August that the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association proposed a new pay scale to increase first-year teachers to $40,000 a year with a max of $68,000 after 23 years.
Parents and teachers alike are hoping the increase will help curb Florida’s growing teaching shortage.
Teaching vacancies by year
Take a look at how full-time teaching vacancies have been trending in Florida. Hover over the bar to see the exact number.
Source: Florida Education Association
Florida, a state with a teaching deficit, only pays its 143,545 public school teachers an average salary of $48,168. According to the National Education Association, the national average for public school teacher salary in 2017 to 2018 was $60,477.
Average teacher salary
Here’s a look at the average teacher salary in 2019. Hover over the bar to see the exact number.Sources: National Education Association
Averages for individual teacher salaries ranged from New York’s salary – which is the highest in the country at $84,227 – to Mississippi’s $44,926 at the low end.
Florida ranked No. 46 across the country, among the lowest teacher salaries.
Florida currently has 2,217 teaching vacancies reported in the 2019-2020 school year, according to the Florida Education Association. That’s 700 more than this time last year.
“Many districts still rely on long-term substitutes to fill a substantial number of classroom” FEA spokeswoman Joni Branch told 8 On Your Side in August. “Kids deserve full-time, certified teachers in all of our public schools. We know what Florida needs to do to recruit and retain certified teachers. Fair, competitive pay is at the top of the list, and that pay needs to come as a salary.”