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Jacksonville teachers react to newly announced teacher pay raises
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Jacksonville teachers react to newly announced teacher pay raises

  • PublishedJune 11, 2024



A form of appreciation to teachers is how one DCPS teacher sees this investment, while others said this is good news but they don’t do their job for the money.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis committed $1.25 billion to teacher salary increases in the upcoming school year.

“We’re proud to rank number one in education. We’re not gonna take our foot off the gas pedal one bit,” DeSantis said during a news conference Monday.

A form of appreciation to teachers is how one Duval County Public Schools teacher sees this investment, while others said this is good news, but they don’t do it for the money.

“An increase in salary to me is a tip of the hat,” said Denise McFarland.

McFarland is a librarian at Englewood Elementary School. She sees an increase in teacher pay as a form of appreciation to those in the classrooms doing the hard work. 

“I think in our country, overall and especially in certain states, teachers aren’t as valued as there are elsewhere. So, I think increasing teacher salary is giving a nod to teachers. It’s saying, ‘what you do is valuable, you do make a difference in lives of children.’ But then ultimately you make a difference in our world, because we’re shaping these young minds and that’s such a critical job,” said McFarland.

Jennifer Chapman is in her 28th year teaching at Englewood and said while the pay increase is good, she’s in it for more than the money.

“I think it’s great for teachers, but we don’t teach for the money because we don’t make that much money teachers that stay there are there because of the kids,” said Chapman.

With what the governor is calling “attractive compensation,” he said he “wants to make sure good educators are attracted to Florida.”

RELATED: ‘I want it to go to the teachers’: Gov. DeSantis announces record teacher pay raises in state budget

It’s something current educators could see happen, with this increase in teacher pay. 

“To be valued and compensated in a way that’s more reflective of the job you do. I think that probably will draw more educators to the profession,” said McFarland.

DeSantis said this budget increase can only be used for teacher pay raises.

According to DeSantis, since 2019, Florida has invested over $4 billion in teacher pay increases and has raised starting teacher pay by nearly $10,000. 



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