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Florida’s No. 50 in new national teacher average pay ranking

Florida’s No.  50 in new national teacher average pay ranking

The big story: Florida lawmakers have pumped millions of dollars into teacher pay over several years in an attempt to make the profession more competitive and attractive.

The effort, which has focused heavily on boosting entry level salaries, has pushed the state up the national rankings to No. 16 in beginning teacher average salary. But when it comes to wages overall, Florida hasn’t fared as well.

The latest report from the National Education Association teachers union placed the Sunshine State at No. 50 for classroom average educator pay, down from previous years. Only West Virginia did worse.

“Once again, despite a thriving economy, Florida is failing to prioritize the needs of students by not fairly compensating teachers and staff,” Andrew Spar, president of the Florida Education Association, told the Palm Beach Post.

Negotiations to improve the situation continue. On Monday, representatives of the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association asked for a 6% across the board raise, WTSP reports.

Meanwhile, school districts continue to recruit teachers to their vacant positions. The Manatee County school district hired eight new USF Sarasota-Manatee graduates, as part of a partnership with the university, Your Observer reports.

Other efforts to fill classrooms also are ongoing. Daytona State College is working with Flagler, Volusia and Brevard county school districts to offer non-instructional employees a chance to become teachers, with tuition covered by a state grant, WKMG reports.

Hot topics

Charter conversion: The city of Newberry is claiming victory after a contested vote over whether to convert Newberry Elementary School to charter status, MainStreet Daily News reports. Alachua County school district officials are not commenting while awaiting word from the state Department of Education.

Diversity, equity and inclusion: Florida Atlantic University has closed its Center for Inclusion, Diversity Education and Advocacy, but students continue to use the space and support one another, WLRN reports.

English as a Second Language: A Duval County charter school has expanded its programs to help prepare a growing number of non-English speaking students, WJXT reports.

Leadership changes: The Broward County school district’s deputy superintendent for finance is the latest in a growing list of top administrators to announce their departure in recent weeks, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

School bus safety: No more warnings for Miami-Dade County drivers who are captured on camera illegally passing school buses. The grace period for the program ends this week, WPLG reports.

Superintendent searches: Semifinalists for the Duval County superintendent post weighed in on the district’s plan to close schools, the Florida Times-Union reports. The school board plans to narrow its candidate list during a meeting today.

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Title IX: Embattled Sarasota County School Board member Bridget Ziegler announced plans to ask her colleagues to formally oppose new federal Title IX offering guidelines protections to LGBTQ+ youth, Axios Tampa Bay reports.

From the police blotter… A Pasco County private school teacher accused of using AI to create child pornography has also been charged with attempting to groom one of his students.

Don’t miss a story. Here’s the link to yesterday’s roundup.

Before you go… Darth Jar Jar, for real.