Teachers chill out!It’s Not a Done Deal

The announcement came out and my phone went nuts!The announcement was that Governor DeSantis wants to give starting teachers a pay raise of around $10, 000 making Florida rookie teachers the second highest paid in the country.Those going nuts on my phone were teacher friends freaking out that they, experienced teachers, were left out of the announcement and the inexperienced teachers would catch or surpass their compensation.

Whoa, easy, teach!This idea of the governor’s is nowhere near a done deal.In fact, it can’t be.You see (and I thought already knew) the state money in your pay is set by the legislature.The legislature sets the budget that must be balanced and then the governor either signs it as is or vetoes portions he does not like.

Did the governor misspeak or simply leave out the experienced teacher portion of the plan?We don’t know.But we do know this.It would be politically stupid for a governor to veto any teacher compensation package after advocating for one before the legislative session began.The legislature is a contemplative body, or it’s supposed to be.They know they would create a nightmare by singling out new teachers only.In fact, the Speaker of the House has come out on this as if the governor’s idea is a pipe dream along with all the other budget requests that are coming into the legislature.

There will be some legislators running the governor’s bill and others who are running the counter proposals.None of it will come out to be just what anyone wanted.So, teachers, if you want a say in the process it’s time to reach out to your unions’ leadership teams and have them engaged in the process now.It’s committee weeks and the session begins in January. You pay those lobbyists for a reason.Get the work out of them.There is time and if the governor says there is the money to be found, it’s time to get your ideas in front of sympathetic legislators and have them advocate for you.

It’s not time to whine, it’s time to be heard.

There will be plenty of time for whining once the unions don’t get all they want.


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