Teachers Discuss a Possible Raise

Everitt Middle School teacher Cyrstal Boyette says she used to be able to count on a pay increase every year.

"But the last few years the budgets just been the overwhelming topic. And so its something we have not really expected. Yes we are all working harder, but we are not seeing assistance on the money side," says Boyette.

Governor Rick Scott wants to provide that assistance later this year, with a $2500 raise for all teachers. Senate president Don Gaetz and house speaker Will Weatherford favor merit-based raises.

The local teacher's union disagrees with a merit based raise. Association of bay county educators president Diane Wishart released a statement saying merit raises are unfair and the union will push for an equatable way to distribute new money.

Bay District superintendent Bill Husfelt is happy to see teachers getting more money, but he also has concerns.
"If they make it a bonus then i don't have to worry about it next year. But if they make it a pay raise then that amount of money has to keep coming in additionallly each year. That's a big bump in pay for everyone. Not saying they don't deserve it. My concern is where is the funding going to come from each year after," says Husfelt.

Gov. Scott put 480-million dollars in his proposed budget for the teacher raises.