TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A newly-proposed pay scale was introduced to the Hillsborough County School Board Wednesday by the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association, and teachers are hoping it will resolve an issue that’s been plaguing the county for years.
The new plan – which includes a proposal where teachers start off earning $40,000 per year for their first three years of employment – would allow teachers to earn up to $68,000 after 23 years.
Under the current scale – which has been in place for years – teachers have a set salary for at least three years. That salary will only increase by $4,000 annually if they qualify based on their performance, a metric that largely depends on students.
Even so, a Hillsborough County teacher’s salary can only reach $66,200 a year as a career maximum – $1,800 less than what was proposed at yesterday’s meeting.
According to an analysis by the National Education Association, the average starting salary for Florida teachers during the 2017-2018 school year was $37,636.
Florida ranks No. 27 of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. and is below the national average salary of $39,249.
The average salary of all of Florida’s teachers is $48,168, which is ranked No. 46 in the country.
The national average of $60,477.
According to an analysis by the National Education Association, the average starting salary for Florida teachers during the 2017-2018 school year was $37,636. Hover over the bars to see the numbers.
Source: Hillsborough County Public Schools, The Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association and The National Education Association
According to Hillsborough County Public Schools spokesperson Tanya Arja, the nation’s eighth-largest district has hired 1,102 new teachers as of July 26.
Those teachers will add to the 15,463 educators already teaching Hillsborough’s 215,386 students, as reported by the National Council on Teacher Quality.
That’s about 350 more teachers contending with low salaries than this time last year.
But Hillsborough County isn’t the only Florida school district where teachers are having to contend with wages.
Teachers serving Orange County Schools have also been engaged in a protracted pay dispute, which would have resulted in a pay cut due to the increase of health insurance costs.
The HCTA’s proposed plan was neither rejected or accepted, and educators may have to wait months before seeing a change in pay.
The next meeting will be held Friday, Aug. 2, to discuss educational support personnel negotiations.