PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. - It was all about the teachers and the students Friday as Governor Scott paid a visit to Nease High School touting the $1.2 billion education budget he unveiled yesterday. Much of the governor's focus during this budget seems to be rewarding Florida's teachers for their hard work in raising the standard of education in Florida. He noted one study from the National Council for Teacher Quality that says Florida has the most effective teachers in the country.
*Our teachers across the state are working very hard. They care about these students...as we all know, when you finish school, what you're going to remember 20 or 30 years from now is your teachers," the governor said to a large group of students and faculty gathered outside Nease's front entrance.
The governor talked up the $2500 pay raise he’s proposed for all K-12 classroom teachers in the state. We asked the governor if we could be assured that the money would go to teachers and not unfunded mandates within the districts and while he didn’t say he outright guarantees it, he says he’s confident the legislature will move on it.
"This money will be allocated to the school system. It'll work through collective bargaining, but I'm very comfortable the money will be allocated to teachers and spent on teachers."
The chair of the St. Johns Education Asocation told WOKV last month she was worried the raise money might go to unfunded mandates within the district. Governor Scott says part of what he's been working towards with his education budget over the past several years is having no unfunded mandates in schools and says he's confident that the money will go to teachers because of that.
Governor Scott says also included in the budget is money to decrease the amount teachers have to spend out of pocket on classroom supplies as well as some funds for professional teacher training.