Most school districts in Florida have yet to finalize collective bargaining agreements with teacher unions to get teachers pay raises.
So Gov. Rick Scott, in an effort to
get people to really like him again so he can get reelected get things moving quicker, has sent out a letter to 67 school superintendents.
Scott says he's asked Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart to give help to any districts that need it so a final agreement can be reached.
For now, just 16 districts have come up with deals, leaving 51 to yet get there.
Scott begins the letter by thanking the 16 districts that have come up with agreements and then manages to slip in a reference to the current government shutdown by doing that thing where he tries to sound folksy and one of us.
"At a time when partisan rancor and arguing have broken down any hope of negotiation and compromise, in our nation's Capitol, I am proud that we worked in a bipartisan manner to bring together members of the Legislature, the Florida School Board Association, the Florida Association of District School Superintendents, and the Florida Education Association to increase teacher pay in our budget."
Teacher pay raises has been one of Scott's priorities this year, and now he's trying to nail it down with his letter.
The state's budget for this year includes $480 million for teacher pay raises. So now each district and teachers unions need to hash out agreements, since this isn't something that can be mandated by the state.
"Florida teachers deserve a salary increase, and they should have the benefit of knowing their new salary level as soon as possible so they can best plan for the future."
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.