Scott: Spend $480 million on teacher pay raisesby John Kennedy | January 23rd, 2013
Gov. Rick Scott, who has signed state budgets that whipsawed classroom spending the past two years, is traveling to Central Florida this afternoon where he plans to call for an across-the-board pay hike for teachers.
Scott said he would set aside $480 million for the extra pay.
“Right now, what I’m focused on is the fact that our teachers have done a great job,” Scott said Wednesday at the Capitol. “Look at the quality of our education system, look at how hard they’re working, look at the test scores. They’re doing a very good job.
“I believe in merit pay, I believe in measurement. I believe in accountability. We’re going to continue to work on that,” Scott added. “But right now, the right thing to do is an across-the-board pay raise for all fulltime teachers.”
Scott plans to release his budget proposal next week. But it’s up to the Legislature to craft the annual spending plan. Local school boards, in turn, make the final decisions on pay raises.
Still, Scott’s pledge is expected to carry some weight. The size of the pay-raise package also suggests he may recommend well over the $1 billion boost to education approved last year, which only partially covered a $1.3 billion cut to classroom cash a year earlier.