Governor Ron DeSantis announced on Monday $800 million in this year’s budget to raise minimum teacher pay and increase veteran teacher salaries in Florida. The $800 million is a $250 million increase over last year’s funding, and brings Florida’s investments in teacher pay to greater than $2 billion since the 2020 Legislative Session. In 2020, the average starting salary for a teacher in Florida was $40,000 (26th in the nation), but with the increase in pay it will now be at least $47,000 (9th in the nation), according to the Governor.

Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said this budget will help those veteran educators too. “Of that new $250 million, in that $800 million, half of that is going to veteran teachers so that they can continue to see a massive increase,” Corcoran said.

“I don’t think people always understand the countless hours we put into our work,” said Loren Temes, 2nd Grade Teacher, Renaissance Charter School at Wellington. “I truly love my students. I am constantly thinking of things to help teach them and it is nice to be appreciated and be respected.”

“Think about just the average minimum. You want to get somebody in college to say go into teaching that’s a noble profession. People understand you’re not gonna necessarily be a billionaire doing this, but you need to be able to make ends meet,” DeSantis said.