Florida schools will see more than a billion new dollars in the state budget starting in July. 480 million is earmarked for teacher pay raises. Senate President Don Gaetz, says it shows Florida cares about its schools.
"So there a lot of reasons that go into why a teacher would get a raise and student performance is a huge part of it," said Gaetz.
There is 2,500 dollars for teachers who are deemed effective, another thousand for those who are highly effective. The merit based raises are directly contrary to the line Governor Rick Scott has been drawing in the sand, saying only across the board raises would do.
"Here's the positive. I proposed 480 million dollars in the budget for teacher compensation. There is 480 million dollars that the legislature put in the budget. The positive is the school districts are going to have flexibility. Our teachers, all teachers are going to have the opportunity for pay raise," said Rick Scott.
The merit raises will be based on criteria that still being developed, and there won't be available until June of 2014.
The Union representing teachers is skeptical they will see any money at all.
"It appears that the legislative leaders really don't like teachers and they don't want to pay them more money. So they went through these gimmicks to make it look like they're going to give money but most likely is not going to happen,” said Andy Ford.
Most Florida teachers are already considered effective or highly effective and will be eligible for the pay increase.
A late addition added principals and other support personnel to the list of those eligible for salary increases.