Since Recession, Leon Teacher Salaries Lose Ground to State Average, But More Teachers Were Retained

Since the Great Recession, Florida Department of Education data shows that K-12 Leon County teacher salaries have lost ground to average salaries state-wide.

However, during the same period, Leon County was able to retain teachers at a higher rate when compared to state of Florida trends.

The graph below shows the annual comparison of the average teacher salaries in Leon County compared to the Florida average for each year from 2008 through 2015.

Click on image to enlarge.


In 2008, the average K-12 teacher salary in Leon county was $44,213. That salary was 94.2% of the state average which was $46,930.

In 2015, the average K-12 teacher salary in Leon county was $43,160. That salary was 90.4% of the state average which was $47,744.

The chart above shows that teacher salaries lost ground from 2008 through 2013 and began to recover in 2015. However, the data shows that Leon county ranked 30th in average salaries in 2008 and in 2015 ranked 52nd.

Also during this period, the number of K-12 teachers fell by 4.8% statewide. However, in Leon County the number of teachers fell by 2.4%, or half of the state of Florida rate.

An analysis shows that if Leon County had laid off teachers at the rate equal to the state level and used the money saved from those salaries to augment current teachers, Leon County average teachers salaries would have been approximately $1,800 higher in 2015.

It appears that the decrease in salaries was the result of the school district keeping more teachers.

Was this a decision based on class size requirements or was it a decision to avoid terminating approximately 100 teachers?

TR will explore the answer to this question in our next report.

5 Responses to "Since Recession, Leon Teacher Salaries Lose Ground to State Average, But More Teachers Were Retained"

  1. Beth Overholt   March 2, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Don’t forget about the population increase that Florida has had in the last few years. Florida now ranks 3rd in the nation for population.
    I’m sure that the plan was to keep those teachers working instead of firing.

  2. Terry Ryan   March 2, 2016 at 10:48 am

    Is it possible that we retained a higher number of teachers due to more incentive bonuses being paid to high ranked schools which, hopefully, was filtered down to teachers?

  3. HOPE & CHANGE   March 2, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    The higher retainage of teachers, with their compensation falling, is directly related to the economic environment in Tallahassee. Simply put, teachers have little or no choice due to the lack of better-paying jobs in the private sector. This is the case because of the local government’s anti-business philosophy and the total failure of the Economic Development Commission for the past 30 years.
    Not to mention the losers that keep getting elected and reelected that have no clue how to create jobs.
    Only in Tallahassee can you have higher retainage of teachers with average salaries falling behind the rest of the state.

  4. Stanley Sims   March 2, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    This article gives me great concern, but I’m going to hold my comments until the follow up. I am clear whether you’re asking the question whether or not it was a good decision to continue to under pay our teachers? Remember the citizens/taxpayers (your word Steve) voted to invest an additional half penny tax in this district. Please consider that in your research. Run Rocky Run!!

  5. Terlish   December 11, 2016 at 12:56 am

    This is a clever attempt to misread the data. So, what had happened…higher paying teachers retired, lower paying teachers are hired. For example, you have 10 teachers 4 make 30,000, 2 make 40,000 and 4 make 60,000, all due to tenure and the pay scale. Those top 4 earners leave and are replaced with newbies who make 30,000. You now have 8 teachers making 30,000 and 2 making 40,000. The first scenario leaves you with an average of $48,000 annual salaries and the latter givers you an average of $32,000. Look at the number of teachers who voluntarily or were forced out of Lincoln High School, if you need a little evidence. If you went there, you know that zero is the number of your old teachers who are still employed there.


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