Bay District Schools submits teacher base pay increase plan to the state

Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 6:15 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) - The October 1 deadline has passed and Bay District Schools has submitted a plan to the state on how it will raise teacher’s minimum salaries.

“We’re working out the details so that the plan will be initially approved,” Executive Director of Human Resources Shirley Baker said.

The goal is for Bay County teachers to be paid a minimum salary of just over $43,000. This comes after each district will receive millions to be distributed to teachers following the governor’s guidelines. Bay District Schools will receive $3,492,894 and the local charter schools will receive an additional $799,503.

“We didn’t have a say as to who got the biggest part of the increase. That was directed by the governor,” Baker said.

All Bay County teachers will also receive at least a $580 increase.

“A new teacher won’t have a higher salary than a veteran teacher, but it will bring the beginning teacher’s salary very close to some of our veteran teachers,” Baker said.

But Denise Hinson with the Association of Bay County Educators said some veteran teachers still feel left behind.

“We feel a little bit disrespected. Not that we don’t want the younger teachers and new teachers to get a salary raise," Hinson said. “We want that, but it’s kind of put a little bit of a wedge in the teaching profession.”

However, she hopes the increase will incentivize more people to join the profession.

”There is a huge teacher shortage in Florida and we’ve been at the bottom of the salary scale for a long time across the country," she said.

Hinson said while the fight for higher pay isn’t over, it is a step in the right direction.

“We still need to keep on improving and still keep on adding to that salary to get it to a place where you can recruit and retain quality teachers,” she said.

We’re told the raise will be retroactive beginning the first employment day of this school year.

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