LCS Teachers Express Frustration Over Salaries

LCS Teachers Express Frustration Over Salaries

On January 23, a number of teachers attended the Leon County School Board (LCSB) meeting demanding fair compensation. Teachers told stories on behalf of other teachers and themselves, sharing their day-to-day struggles with their current salaries. Many teachers claimed the Board did not value veteran teachers, noting their salaries were not keeping up with the cost of living, and they would be leaving their profession to seek higher paying careers.

In 2020, a state mandate set the beginning teacher salary at $47,500 in order to attract more teachers during the educational staff shortage. Over the last 3 years, additional funds have been allocated towards teacher pay. However, school districts are only allowed to give 20% of the funding towards veteran teachers and 80% to beginning teachers.

Marcy Grauer, a teacher who has worked at Leon County Public Schools for 19 years, said she was recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and that her salary didn’t cover her cost of living. She stated, “I can’t afford to be out of work to take care of myself and to give myself the rest I need to fight this disease, so every day I show up.” She continued, “I continue to give 110% despite all that I’m going through personally. I’m simply asking you to do the same. I’m asking you to show up for me, to show up for my fellow educators.”

Additionally, Grauer noted the hard work she did to grow professionally; however, she said there was only a $3,000 difference between her salary and a first-year teacher.

LCS teacher Sal Christiano -using published LCSB salary schedule data – informed the Board that a teacher with 24 years of experience and a bachelors degree was paid $51,840 in 2015. The same teacher in 2023 is being paid 53,788, a 3.8% increase over nine years. Christiano said that U.S government data indicates that the cost of living has increased approximately 22.5% over the last nine years.

Pursuant to Florida Statute 1012.22(1)(c)(3), a District School Board may not use advanced degrees in setting a salary schedule for instructional personnel or school-based administrators who are hired on or after July 1, 2011. Advanced degrees are paid as a salary supplement in the following amounts: Master’s Degree $1800, Ed Specialist Degree – $3600 and Doctoral Degree – $5400. To qualify for advanced degree supplement, the advanced degree must be in individual’s area of certification

Another veteran teacher noted she recently found out that a first-year teacher she was helping counsel was making nearly the same amount as her. She stated, “She brings her students to join my class of 23 so I can model lessons for her. I take her calls and emails in the evening and over the weekend, sacrificing my family time to help her.” She continued, “My whole team does these things with a smile on their faces, despite the fact that she makes close to what we all make. When this was realized, it was a tremendous slap in the face.”

The Leon County Teacher Association has been bargaining with the school district since April of 2023. However, they have to yet come to an agreement as the Teacher’s Association is proposing $6.7 million for salary raises and the District is offering them $4 million.

6 Responses to "LCS Teachers Express Frustration Over Salaries"

  1. learning starts at home. the teachers cannot rehab students with absolutely no prior knowledge. Parents should teach their kids the alphabet and counting before dropping them to the schools. I agree that a degree isn’t really necessary for many classrooms, but why then are they required? By requiring the degree and failing to pay, the school system is in the wrong. If we only required degrees for the core classes, maybe we could divert those monies to get quality core teachers. One doesn’t need a BA to teach gym or art or to hold the ISS class…. if i had children entering school, I’d have to choose homeschooling. I have seen with my own eyes the very situation August West describes, and I would never allow that kind of “teacher” to stand in front of my kids and tell them anything. It’s worse than y’all think…like it’s criminally bad at our local schools. The kids are not learning at all and the instructors are barely competent. The whole scheme should’ve never opened back up after the covid lockdown. That was the perfect opportunity to get the public education behemoth under control…but nope. We were too focused on fighting each other about masks.

  2. Yep, this pay schedule is major problem. I left after 17 years of teaching after the 20-21 school year. I figured since the politicians don’t value my work, it was the perfect time to turn my part time passion into full time work. My thinking, if I leave teaching and comeback to be a “year 1” again, I’ll pretty much be making the same amount of money. Now I make more money, make my own schedule, and I work way less. The ridiculousness of the legislature to spend almost all raises on new teachers blows my mind. LCS needs to step as well. The most important asset in the classroom is a great teacher.

  3. Actually, when you consider that pay is for only 9 month’s work, they’re way overpaid. More so, when you consider the spot-on comments below.

  4. If any students currently studying to be teachers saw this pay schedule, the smarter ones would change their major.

    Who in their right mind would enter a profession where you are guaranteed to make the same pay for 15 years before you could get a pay increase? What do you think the impact of inflation, even at only 2%, would be over those 15 years while your pay remains constant?

    These students would better spend their school years taking finance and math-related courses.

  5. These are the teachers that have NOT taught 51% of the students to read at their own grade level. If you send your child to a public school in Leon County, you are committing child abuse.

    I say that as someone who attended Hartsfield, Fairview, Rickards, TCC and FSU. Before I graduated from High School, I had read all the classics and could use Sir Issaac Newton’s Calculus. And that was the norm!

    When I ride by Hartsfield elementary every day, I see morbidly obese teachers shouting at the children in broken English. A raise?… I think not.

  6. Welcome to Reality Class 101. For our first lesson…

    Regurgitating a Public Indoctrination System Curriculum that teaches hate, blame, activism, transdelusionalism, and promotes racial inequity does not require a college degree, a decent pay rate, or any real skill at all for that matter.

    Try standing up for yourselves, your profession, and our children by demanding the right to teach reading, writing, arithmetic, real science, true history, and legitimate civics.

    Check the graduation rates, unfettered absenteeism, and grade-level accomplishments. Producing a better product results in better pay for you, better citizens, prepared adults, and a better society.

    Start by defunding your corrupt unions and start representing yourselves.

    … thus endith the lesson.

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