There has been a lot of talk about teacher raises coming out of Tallahassee but if you heard what Senate President Bill Galvano said at a recent meeting you may want to give up any hope.
From the Herald Tribune,
Manatee County School Board Chairman Dave Miner and Manatee Education Association president Patricia Barber both argued that Florida schools are significantly underfunded.
Miner said the inadequate funding is contributing to a big shortage in qualified teachers.
“We gotta change that and I’m asking you to give that a high priority,” Miner said during the meeting, which was held in the Manatee County Commission chambers in downtown Bradenton.
That drew a response from Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, who noted that per pupil spending increased by $242 in the current state budget, the largest increase since 2007.
Education spending is “a priority for me in the Senate,” Galvano said…
…“Education funding in this state has not caught up to pre-recession levels,” Barber said, before pointing out that average teacher pay in Florida has actually declined over the last decade when accounting for inflation.
Galvano said after the meeting that he was “very pleased” with the education funding levels approved by the Legislature this year but added that “we still have to continue to work forward on this issue.”
Um, we spend about a thousand less per pupil than we did 12 years ago, and Florida is routinely at the bottom of education investments and teacher salary yet somehow Senate President Bob Galvano is very pleased with the education levels.
Couple that with when you factor in inflation, the State Board of Education recommended a cut in public ed funding and it’s hard to see raises coming.
I can see it now, another merit pay bonus scheme is on the horizon because this state government is incapable of doing the right thing. You see friends, Tallahassee doesn’t want to fix the problem because they want to destroy the teaching profession, and its way past time we gave up the hope some of us had been holding onto that they would do the right thing.