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State Senator Berman and State Representative Edmonds Propose a $65,000 Salary for Starting Teachers

Florida Legislature
Senator Lori Berman (D-Boca Raton) and State Representative Jervonte Tae Edmonds (D-West Palm Beach)

Florida - Tuesday January 23, 2024: Senator Lori Berman (D-Boca Raton) and State Representative Jervonte "Tae" Edmonds (D-West Palm Beach) filed SB 342 and HB 271 to increase starting teacher salaries to $65,000. This figure would put Florida’s teachers on par with the national average, which is $65,090 according to the National Education Association.

In a news release the two State lawmakers said - "The rising costs of living, from housing to food, has only exacerbated the issue of teacher underpayment," states the release, and they argue that "utilizing substitute teachers or other instructional staff is not a viable alternative as it may have a detrimental impact on students who do not have a regular, full-time teacher in the classroom. " SB 342 and HB 271, they maintain, "would help recruit and retain teachers, especially since there is a major shortage plaguing our schools."

According to the Florida Education Association, roughly 5,300 positions throughout Florida are unfilled, more than double the number from two years ago, leaving Florida in a dire situation.

The bill, if passed, would take effect for the 2023-2024 school year.

“We believe that if we increase the starting salary for teachers in Florida, we will be able to attract and retain more qualified and experienced teachers,” said Representative Edmonds. “This will ensure that our students receive the best education possible.”

“We are committed to making sure that our teachers are paid a fair wage for the important work that they do,” said Senator Berman. “With this legislation, Florida will attract the top notch teachers our students deserve and we will address the teacher shortage head on.”