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Teachers concerned about future pay raise

Teacher Salaries
Posted at 6:06 PM, Apr 29, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-29 18:52:35-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL)--Teachers are hyped about future raise, but aren't excited about the time they'll be getting them and just how they will be distributed.

A pay raise is joy for most teachers like Debra Wilhelm.

"If they could move it up to the current year that would be fabulous," said Wilhelm.

Lawmakers agreed to set aside $480 million dollars for teacher raises for 2014.

Whilhelm is a Palm Beach County elementary school teacher. She says teaching is very rewarding--but an upgrade in pay is much needed now.

"To know that child got it, and that's the way teachers work, that's what they like to see, that's a reward in itself, but they also have to pay their bills and feed their families," said Wilhelm.

Right now teachers pay is evaluated based on their students test scores and how well they perform in the classroom, now the raises too--will be based on performance as well. That's something Andy Ford, the President of the Florida Education Association says just isn't right.

"That's going to cause some problems because we know the system that they have in place right now to determine that is absolutely worthless," said Ford.

According to last years results, more than 20-percent of teachers were ranked highly effective and about 70 percent were effective.

Teachers who are ranked highly effective will get a $3500 dollar raise, those who are effective will get $2500 dollars, and those who are unsatisfactory won't get that raise.

State leaders are trying to reform the evaluation system...but lawmakers like Michelle Rehwinkel-Vasinlinda say all Florida teachers deserve a raise.

"We need to make sure that they know that we care about them through rewards that we're giving them through across the board raises and how to evaluate them and their colleagues best," said Rep. Rehwinkel-Vasilinda. (D) District 9.

But teachers like Wilhelm fear people will go to other states to teach.

"Where are we going to be in the future without teachers that want to stay in Florida that are the great teachers the excellent teacher, where are the students going to be, that's the sad thing," said Wilhelm.

The answer Wilhelm says they'll be waiting for unless lawmakers make some changes soon.